Monthly Archives: April 2016

Training young professionals needs standards to be set

Good training guarantees qualified junior professionals. In order to implement this theme, the leading organizations of one industry have come together as they had recognized the need for action.

Written by Jens Kügler

Demographic changes or not: Some causes of skill shortages are homemade. Many companies in attractive sectors lure young people but often offer—to put it mildly—a very inconsistent or poor quality of training. Apprentices are too often still abused as cheap laborers and can hardly expand the horizons of their company or even their own department.

However, the costumer’s requirements for expertise increases straightly in a high-tech and innovation country like Germany. There is hardly an industry where that is so clearly felt as in the exhibition and event industry. To give just one example: today there are mostly only two days time for the construction of all exhibition stands on a site with deliveries, buildings, terminals and exhibits. Modern technology and logistics make this possible, so the space operators expect this to fill their halls quickly. But the technology and logistics have to be learned and mastered. Craft skills, resilience and “Learning by doing” are no longer sufficient.

And what about the students, graduates or trainees? They do look for qualified training companies. But how are these to be identifed? In sectors such as crafts, some plants have come together in their regions with the vocational schools and the chambers of commerce to form training initiatives. They constitute standards and develop guidelines for businesses that get certified for this.

Returning to the exhibition and event industry: An example is offered by the leading associations for fairs and events in Germany. This spring, four have come together to form a training initiative: the exhibitors association AUMA, the fair Service Association FAMAB, event technology association VPLT and the EVVC, the European Association of Event Centres. Initiative and responsible was the EVVC. And the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce DIHK supports the action.

The initiative is called 100PRO and is dubbed by the parties as a “quality offensive”. They have developed among others a code of a sound operation training—be it for event agencies, trade fair construction or catering companies, industry technology providers or exhibitors. Through the code, a training content is defined, for example, to create training frameworks and set a balance between trainees and skilled professionals.

The initiative is firstly aimed at students looking for good training companies. Secondly, to trainees who want to check the quality of their own education against the standards. On the initiative’s homepage they also get a choice of interesting download offers such as industry dates, curricula or literature tips. Target group number three are trainers who use the label and its platforms to advertise their own enterprise.

The name 100PRO implies a need for action because 100PRO (abbreviating “100 per cent”) sounds like an objective and not like an actual condition. And the fact that the catchy and self-suggesting name 100PRO was still available clearly indicates that not all industries and organizations have launched similar initiatives so far.

How individual service providers in the industry may get involved is shown by the company BTA publishing and media services. The publisher of the catalog “Eventlocations” and the “eventlocation magazin” advertised a Scholarship Competition for a continuing education program in the industry in 2014. Conclusion: The protagonists in the sector need to support each others if they want to attract professionals.

Empfehlen Sie diesen Beitrag:

Too young? Too old? Your fault …

A recent government study revealed that alarmingly many people in Germany suffer from discrimination in the workplace. Most often this occurs because of their age.

So strange: In society there is youthism. In commercials you see only approximately 25-year-old people. But in professional life? In my early and mid-twenties I often felt not to be taken seriously. I have recognized a change with about 40: Enriched with wrinkles and a slightly graying head, people would listen more intensively to what I said. If now I offer a solution idea in a meeting, it will no longer be challenged or put to question. And a young freelancer colleague who has started his business at the early age of 19 likes to take me to meetings with his customers. Because my presence and words being more reputable than his.

No doubt: Youth is subject to a certain discrimination in the world of work. Perhaps this is natural as one denies them the experience and expertise. But what about the elderly, the most experienced ones? Recently a customer told me he would not let me write a certain newsletter copy text. He thought that I, now 48 years old, could no longer think and communicate in the language of a gaming community with an average age of 20.

During this week, a study by the Federal German Anti-Discrimination Agency was published. Almost one in three of Germans felt to have been confronted with discrimination in the last two years. Most commonly, these cases occurred in the working world: Nearly 30 percent of all persons concerned named the workplace as the most or one of the most common places where they feel they have been discriminated against or humiliated. And what were the most common reasons? The age was in the first place–with half of all cases!

49 percent named the age as reason. This was followed by the gender with 37 percent. And here one can only imagine the role played by male prejudices against women! In the lower ranks of discrimination reasons were religion and political belief with 25 and origin or nationality with 21 percent. Perhaps this is a glimmer of hope in times of growing right-wing populism and xenophobia. But the horrendous ageism is by no means better. Our society simply can’t afford it in a lack of junior professionals and a growing demand for older employees.

Empfehlen Sie diesen Beitrag:

Raise my pay or I’m away …

Most employees believe they can earn more only if they change their job—as a recent study reveals. This, however, is in complete contradiction to the market situation.

Well-trained employees are in the best possible position when there is a skills shortage and companies are desperately in need of professionals. The employee’s market value rises exorbitantly. But do the salaries increase in the same way, too? Strangely enough–no way! The workers could make demands but do little. How do they behave instead?

The international job platform Glassdoor wanted to know. It commissioned the market research institute Harris Poll with a study which was attended by a total of 8,254 people and published later this week. The results should make anyone sit up and take notice:

Almost 60 percent of those interviewed in Germany believe they have to change the employer in order to get more content. Amazing: The people in the so-called best-workers ages from 35 to 54 years see a job shift as the only chance for more money. This is quite striking as in no other age group the job opportunities seem to be as good as in this one!

The study revealed more discrepancies. About 70 percent of all German workers said they did not know what salary is the usual market practice for their position, experience and expertise. Even more: There is a huge ignorance concerning the subject of content among colleagues. Only about a quarter of all interviewees responded with yes to the question whether the salaries get officially announced in their company. However, about two thirds said that treating the subject of salaries openly would promote the satisfaction of employees wtih their employers.

What can workers do? They may deal more offensively and self confident with the subject of salary. What should entrepreneurs do? Be financially flexible, if it’s possible and if they don’t want to lose their most valuable asset, their experienced workers. Above all, they should eliminate the lack of salary transparency. For as long as professionals are missing almost everywhere, the rare qualified are better off.

Empfehlen Sie diesen Beitrag:

Corporate reputation matters more than money and career

In times of skill shortages, the labor market turns “upside-down”: companies have to compete and “apply” for the few top qualified Generation Y candidates. Anyone who’s looking for them has to know who and especially what they are looking for. There is a paradigm shift, as a Nielsen study recently confirmed.

Top salary and career: For decades, these targets were on top of worker’s demands. In journals, forums, blogs and conferences there is an ongoing debate about how much times have changed. Now the 2015 Global Reputation Study by the market and media research company Nielsen has revealed interesting aspects. What do “Future Talents” expect from their jobs?

Nielsen asked university graduates and young employees in 16 countries, including Germany.

Almost everywhere about 85 percent of all respondents said that, when deciding which company to work for, employee treatment was more important for them than other factors. That means that treatment is more important to them than a responsible job, a more diverse job and even work-life balance.

Treatment and fairness also mean that the managers of tomorrow care more for the employer brand—a value that goes far beyond the image that any marketing activity can support. Leadership is a key point to this as the reputation of a company is also influenced by its employees. “To be seen as a fair employer is a door opener to bring the right people to companies,” says Ute Hagen. “If you’re known for responding to the needs and desires of your employees you improve your opportunities tremendously.”

Something more has changed, according to the Nielsen study: The labor market which once appeared to be mainly a local one has now become more global. Many candidates would move anywhere in the world for their jobs. 39 percent said that they were willing to leave their home country. But a completely different value seems to be much more interesting. 86 percent of all addressees from 15 countries want to work for a company that behaves in a socially responsible way. Tomorrow’s employees even would love to be involved in projects for the environment and society. “Engaged employees are the social human faces of their companies”, as Ute Hagen describes the advantage of these results for the any company that understands.

The conclusions that can be drawn from the study are as clear as perhaps surprisingly for some. The classical models of the job description, the income category and the career opportunities are less important for a candidate than before. And likewise, the testimony or the references of an applicant don’t describe his quality or passion. The advantage is that for many companies it will be easier to adapt the values of social branding and treatment than offering more money and better career prospects. So who still complains of the young generation and their claims?

Empfehlen Sie diesen Beitrag: