© Photo | ebm-papst

Qual­i­fied for the future

ebm-papst have found their own way of dealing with the shortage of skilled workers: By training their lesser qual­i­fied employees

More than five million workers in Germany have never had any voca­tional training. A skilled work­force is however becoming ever more of a neces­sity, partic­u­larly in the increas­ingly complex world of mechan­ical and elec­trical engi­neering. Kai Gebhardt, personnel manager at ebm-papst in Land­shut, is in no doubt: “We really do need to invest in the poten­tial of our lesser qual­i­fied employees.” Wolf­gang Beyer, his coun­ter­part in St. Georgen, fully agrees. “If we do not react quickly enough, we could end up having to replace some of our work­force. And that would be the wrong course of action – both morally and from a busi­ness point of view.” Bernd Ludwig, respon­sible for training in Mulfingen, puts it in a nutshell: “We are deter­mined to ensure the continued pros­perity of both the company and the region.”

Moti­va­tion in Mulfingen

The Mulfingen plant started offering internal re-training schemes for lesser qual­i­fied personnel back in the year 2000. To date, a total of 60 employees have taken advan­tage of this to obtain recog­nised qual­i­fi­ca­tions. The theo­ret­ical side is taught by college instruc­tors in tech­nical courses organ­ised by ebm-papst together with other compa­nies and the local organ­i­sa­tion “Inno­va­tion in the Kocher & Jagst region”. In parallel to this, prac­tical instruc­tion takes place in the training work­shop and quality assur­ance depart­ments. “These days, the employees them­selves ask us about new courses. With so much moti­va­tion, interest, commit­ment and initia­tive there is no limit to what we can achieve,” as Ludwig is delighted to point out.

Land­shut on the right road

A participant on the WeGebAU project with her instructor

A partic­i­pant on the WeGebAU project with her instructor

The Land­shut plant is actively involved in a project organ­ised by the state employ­ment agency and known as WeGebAU. This stands for “Further training for lesser qual­i­fied and older company employees” and is aimed at all age groups. Concrete qual­i­fi­ca­tions are the reward for taking part. “We have around 500 employees without any or with inap­pro­priate qual­i­fi­ca­tions,” as Gebhardt explains. In addi­tion to the WeGebAU project, the Land­shut plant there­fore puts a lot of effort into internal training and inten­sive famil­iari­sa­tion courses.

Keen to learn at St. Georgen

Multipliers discussing with a trainee in St. Georgen

Multi­pliers discussing with a trainee in St. Georgen

In response to a works council proposal, ebm-papst St. Georgen initi­ated the EU-financed project GRIW, which stands for “Creation of struc­tural and personnel-related condi­tions for the imple­men­ta­tion of inno­v­a­tive work training concepts”. This is aimed at lesser qual­i­fied shift workers who receive direct work­place training on various topics over a period of six to eight months. They are assisted by a total of twelve training coun­sel­lors, who in turn are supported by four so-called multi­pliers who coor­di­nate the project and are respon­sible for embed­ding the training concept in the company. “The employees are moti­vated by having the oppor­tu­nity to look beyond their own noses,” says François Dehlas, one of the multi­pliers. “This group of people is keen to learn more and make a bigger contri­bu­tion to the overall picture. And we are pleased to be able to offer this scheme to promote such moti­va­tion. It is a win-win situ­a­tion for both sides,” Beyer adds.

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