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Securing skilled workers through continuing vocational training

Many companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector are faced with the challenge of finding suitable specialists and managers. One solution is to make optimum use of existing employees and prepare them specifically for future requirements. Vocational training and qualification can play a key role here by enabling employees to improve their skills and adapt to new technologies, methods and requirements. This not only increases their professional qualifications, but also expands their employment opportunities in various areas of work.

In order to highlight the opportunities for further vocational training in the North Rhine-Westphalian mechanical and plant engineering sector, ProduktionNRW organized a virtual information event on 3 June 2024 together with the Competence Centre for Securing Skilled Workers (KOFA), which was commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK).

Onwards with education?! Keeping an eye onthe future

Miriam Schöpp, Vocational Training Officer at KOFA, began by emphasizing the benefits of further training opportunities. These increase employer attractiveness and employee loyalty, as employees have the chance to grow, learn and develop within the company. Studies show that managers in particular accept and are offered further training measures compared to other employees – even though the measures are helpful for the entire workforce.

However, only a few companies systematically identify their training needs. This is because the digital transformation will significantly change the skills required in companies. New skills requirements and fields of activity are emerging as a result. In order to cover these in a targeted manner, strategic personnel requirements planning is necessary. An ACTUAL/SOLL analysis helps to derive suitable measures to achieve objectives and identify further training requirements.

Types of further training courses

Miriam Schöpp then went on to discuss the various further training courses on offer. First of all, these can be divided into non-formal (e.g. adaptation training such as courses), formal (e.g. advanced training such as master craftsman courses) and informal offers (learning on the job such as learning tandems). Evaluations show that companies primarily offer informal further training measures. The main providers are the chambers of industry and commerce, training providers and associations.

The Federal Employment Agency’s “WEITER.BILDUNG! – die Qualifizierungsoffensive” initiative provides funding for further training measures for all employees subject to social security contributions, including employees on short-time work. Prerequisites include an AZAV certificate (Accreditation and Approval Ordinance for Employment Promotion) for the training provider and course, a minimum duration of 121 hours and a vocational qualification or degree from at least four years ago.
In conclusion, it is clear that further training measures can be a suitable approach to tackling the shortage of skilled workers with the existing staff in your own company.

Further information

The event was offered by ProduktionNRW. ProduktionNRW is the cluster for mechanical engineering and production technology in North Rhine-Westphalia and is organized by VDMA NRW. ProduktionNRW sees itself as a platform for networking, informing and marketing companies, institutions and networks with each other and along the value chain. Significant parts of the services provided by ProduktionNRW are funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.