Breaking new ground
The Federal Employment Agency South Berlin and WISTA Management GmbH (WISTA) are initiating a network to secure skilled workers
“The successful recruitment of skilled workers is the greatest bottleneck for economic growth at many companies. In some cases, the issue is now directly affecting the continued existence of a company,” says Cornelia Schwarz, managing director of Agentur für Arbeit Berlin Süd, South Berlin’s employment agency. The shortage of skilled workers has reached a new high and is not least affecting Adlershof Technology Park, which requires a wide range of highly qualified, technical, and creative staff.
Agentur für Arbeit Berlin Süd and WISTA Management GmbH are trying to remedy this situation by initiating a network to secure skilled workers. “At WISTA, we are interested in pressing social issues such as mobility and climate change. Our focus is always: What do our companies need? What can we offer to overcome these challenges? On the issue of skilled workers, we are thinking about how we can organise advanced training – across companies, too. Or: What does today’s and tomorrow’s leadership in companies look like?”, says Bessie Fischer-Bohn, project head of WISTA’s skilled workers network. One of the advantages of the site is that WISTA can offer company-independent solutions, explains Fischer-Bohn. This was but one of the reasons they sat down together with the employment agency, which, in turn, has a trove of data and programmes at its disposal.
“Only companies that are courageous and ready to break new ground will be able to recruit and retain employees in the future,” says Sven Sander, coordinator of the new network. The idea was born last summer. It resulted in the foundation of a steering board and various working groups aimed at finding out what companies want and need. Finally, the board will define the most pressing issues and develop appropriate measures.
One thing is already becoming clear: The employer market has become an employee market. “Transparency is helpful,” says Sven Sander, “and employer branding is becoming an important concept: Companies must make themselves recognisable as brands, radiate a positive image, and highlight their own advantages. The question is: What image do I have as a company and how attractive am I compared to others?” Cornelia Schwarz knows that the transformation that is affecting companies also means adjusting the type of support provided by the employment agency. “That’s our job. Ten years ago, our job as the employment agency encompassed very different services.”
The response to the network of skilled workers has been good so far. Several companies and institutes from Adlershof have already joined the network, including Ferdinand Braun Institute, EBK Krüger GmbH & Co. KG, RGM Facility Management GmbH, TopVision Telekommunikation GmbH & Co. KG, BMUsik Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG, Farben-Frikell Berlin GmbH, and Chromicent GmbH. The business office overseeing Berlin’s eleven sites generating future innovation (“Zukunftsorte”) is also taking part because such cooperation could become a model for the other ten sites in addition to Adlershof.
Rico Bigelmann for POTENZIAL
Project Managers of the skilled workers network: