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23 August 2012
Corporate practices: in Kaluga, Russia, Volkswagen is training its own apprentices
Lack of skilled workers.  170 kilometers south west of Moscow, at the gates of the city of Kaluga, is a 400-ha production site, Volkswagen Group Rus, Volkswagen’s Russian subsidiary.  Created in 2006, the plant, which now employs 4,200 people, produces nearly 150,000 cars each year, including the Tiguan, the new Polo Sedan, as well as Skoda’s Fabia and Octavia.  As soon as it arrived in Russia, Volkswagen was faced with serious problems.  Russian consumers liked Volkswagen’s cars but they would rather...
The German apprenticeship system out to take on the world
23 August 2012
Germany: German-style apprenticeship set out to conquer the world
The ‘dual system’ on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean.  In a workshop located one floor above the assembly hall of the American headquarters of the German chainsaw maker, Stihl, in Virginia Beach, VA, young Americans are learning how to file, mill, grind, weld and code machines, supervised by a German trainer.  They are part of a group of apprentices who are doing a German-style dual training.  Indeed, to make its chainsaws, hedge trimmers and brush cutters, the international leader from Swabia (€2.6...
The German apprenticeship system out to take on the world
2 July 2012
Corporate practices: ThyssenKrupp steel cuts working time to hire 1,000 apprentices and have younger manpower
Chain restructurings.  “Up to 2006, we were mostly concerned with one thing: how can we cut jobs?” explains Veit Echterhoff, in charge of training policy at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG.  And for good reason: as soon as it was founded, the biggest steel producer in Germany, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe (28,843 employees, €12.8 billion in sales in 2010-11), based in Duisburg, was affected by the steel crisis which has been ravaging Europe since the 1970s.  Blast furnaces gradually closed in the Ruhr basin;...
11 May 2012
Corporate practices: to secure the skills needed in the future, Volvo AB Group sets up its own training program for young jobseekers
Recruitment is the new challenge of the coming years.  Olof Persson, CEO of Volvo AB Group, says recruitment will be a major challenge for Swedish manufacturing in the years to come.  “We’re doing this to save our skills and be better equipped to deal with future retirements, for instance.  But the point is also to encourage more young people to apply for production jobs in manufacturing” he explained as he presented the training project.  Thus, it seems that Volvo AB Group has made the same observation...
3 January 2012
Corporate practices: secrets behind Scania’s ‘perfect’ age pyramid
Currently, Scania Group is one of the leaders in the manufacture of heavyweights, buses, vans, as well as industrial and marine engines.  It also offers and sells a wide range of maintenance products and funding services.  It is present in about 100 countries and has more than 35,000 employees.
16 December 2011
Corporate practices: Thales helps its employees change trades with the “Passerelles” approach
Employment expertise has been a part of Thales’ social practices for several years now.  In 2006, the social partners adopted an agreement on the anticipation of employment changes, professional development and training, which is currently being renegotiated.  Three years later, in 2009, the group takes this approach to the European level and signs an agreement on Improving professional Development through Effective Anticipation (IDEA, see our dispatch No.  090629).  The text provides for an annual...
6 December 2011
Corporate practices: ING DiBa, the German direct bank, is training apprentices over 50
A second chance for seniors.  “I am proud of myself.  I was able to prove that, unlike what people think, you can learn new things no matter how old you are.”  Christa Louis is one of the 20 apprentices over 50 who did work-study training as “Specialist in Dialogue Marketing” (Servicefachkraft für Dialogmarketing) at the ING DiBa bank.  This former supermarket cashier started training at 52 after trying, in vain, for 9 months, to find a job in Germany after she spent 5 years in new Zealand. ...
14 October 2011
Denmark: first report on HR practices in multinationals in Denmark
HR policies.  Most multinationals involved with the survey are European (46% Scandinavian) and 16% American.  Two thirds claim they have an “International HR unit” with a cross-border coordination system for managers.  Generally speaking, HR policy is determined at the level of the multinational’s headquarters and then sent out to the subsidiaries.  The researchers point out that Danish subsidiaries are highly free to make decisions as regards communication, participation and employee representation, but...
14 October 2010
Germany: first representative study to look at measures increasing older workers’ productivity
German lab.  Since demographic ageing is more significant in Germany than for its neighbors, the businesses of the top European economy have become true labs on the employment of older workers.  Indeed, there is a wide variety of studies, not only on the number of older workers but also on the number of businesses applying measures to maintain employees’ working capacities and the company’s productivity. Thus, the ZEW’s researchers, Christian Göbel and Thomas Zwick, authors of the study entitled “Which...
4 March 2010
Companies: 5th Hewitt Associates report for the European Club for Human Resources shows gradual return to investment into human capital in 2010
Management of the crisis and post recession measures. Leonardo Sforza, head of EU affairs and research at Hewitt Associates and author of the study, thinks 2010 will be a transition year. He said that, “2009 was a year of fighting to safeguard the workforce, and 2010 will have more balance between measures to maintain employment and measures to develop businesses’ human capital.”...