During discussions about the lack of specialist workers, demographics usually come into play, and vocational training. Using that approach falls short of reaching the goal, though. It definitely is important to reduce the percentage of those leaving school and university without a degree to ensure that there will be someone there to fill to jobs which will soon be left vacant as the baby-boomers retire.

 

A lack of trained worked doesn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere. Companies and managers who look ahead do have a chance to make better use the assets available in the job market than was done in the past.

 

Almost all managers involved in personnel development see continued professional education as a solution to the growing problem of lacking numbers of well qualified workers a poll done recently by a well-known German institute showed. The focus is especially on the generation 50 and older, or those returning from a baby break. Most of the interviewed managers also agreed that postgraduate professional education will increase and should be able to alleviate the problems brought on by coming demographic changes.

 

Hence, postgraduate professional education is the third cornerstone of a continued growth in work force, next to in-depth initial training of all young people and the immigration of well-qualified workers.

 

80% of the interviewed managers count on continued training for their current employee, while only about half want to rely on immigrated workers. One possible reason for the difference could be that current employees are already well-integrated into the company’s work flow, and that there are still fairly high legal hurdles (like a high yearly income) for workers from outside the European Union.

 

Offers for continues training are also a good method to increase employee loyalty, and have become an important element of yearly feedback talks and negotiations about salaries. Income, work hours, and vacation days are not the only options, and more and more employees happily accept offers for trainings that will help them prepare for an ever changing work environment. Big companies often even finance their own academies for that purpose, while smaller companies seek to establish cooperation with private or even public institutes. The IHK and crafter’s consortiums especially have over the last few years created many training programs leading to certificates that will be an asset in a person’s CV. They show that the candidate is willing to continue his/her education.

 

Another area that has been growing in leaps and bounds lately is distance learning and virtual classrooms, and they often offer at least Bachelor, or even Master level education. One advantage of those is that the employee can take those while still doing his normal job at the company. Flexible class schedules that allow individuals to learn at their own speed, for example reducing the number of classes when demands at work are high and cranking up the intensity during vacations times are also available.

 

Big companies seem to be more affected by the shortage of qualified workers than smaller companies. That is unusual, since big well-known companies usually have a much easier time finding personnel than do small ones.

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