HG News

BDA AGENDA 1/23 | COMMENT OF THE WEEK | January 12, 2023

Judith Wiese, Chief People and Sustainability Officer (CPSO),
Member of the Managing Board and Labor Director of Siemens AG

In view of the structural problem of a lack of skilled workers, companies must increase their attractiveness as an employer - not least by training and developing their own employees.

In addition to economic development, the shortage of skilled workers in Germany is also blocking transformation processes such as the energy transition and the digital revolution. Companies today are not only competing for customers and market share, but also have to assert themselves against other employers on the labor market. There are two possible solutions: To train employees and to maximize their own attractiveness as an employer.

Skills shortage as a structural problem

The situation on the labour market is not only due to recent developments such as the COVID pandemic and the economic and security situation; demographic change as well as automation and digitalization in the world of work are structural factors. The staff shortage is a problem for many industries - all the more so as it does not occur during a boom period. The expected skills gap of around 5 million by 2030 is jeopardizing our ability to use the energy and digital transformations as drivers of innovation and growth.

The challenge of sustainable employability

Qualifications have a limited half-life, especially in the digital world of work. Both employees and employers have an interest in keeping their know-how up to date through further training and ensuring that they benefit from the opportunities offered by digitalization.

Skilled workers are looking for employers who offer flexibility and autonomy. They want meaningful, forward-looking employment that changes the world for the better and a working environment in which they can continue to improve their qualifications.

Conversely, companies are looking for employees who want to continuously train and learn. Automation and technological solutions can partially overcome the demographic challenges. Nevertheless, employers like Siemens and industrialized nations like Germany must strive to attract qualified specialists in the face of international competition. By creating capacities and structures that adapt the skills of our employees to the latest technical standards, we enable a sustainable working relationship that balances the interests of employers and employees.

Internal training and qualification as a key to success

Forward-thinking employers therefore offer their employees a wide range of measures for technical upskilling and reskilling at all levels. At the beginning of December 2022, Siemens strengthened its qualification program by opening the SiTecSkills Academy. This learning offer, which ranges from seminars and retraining to bachelor's and master's degree courses, provides specialists with further training for the digital world of work.

In view of the skills gap in STEM professions, the focus is on manufacturing skills as well as digital and scientific offerings. The academy aims to keep our staff's skills up to date at all times and, in addition to the competitiveness of our company, also increases the long-term employability of our employees.