WORK 4.0

Meeting the Demand for a Sure Future

45582824 digitalization workplace dpa
A worker at Wittenstein scans a bar code - it is part of the move to a more digital workplace. Source: DPA

When German car parts supplier Continental posted the job for “automotive software developer”, the results were lackluster – there weren’t enough qualified specialists in the labor market. So instead of taking subpar candidates, the company decided to create a program that will train 30 people to do the job within three years.

Applicants should have experience, said the group, though not necessarily a university degree. Continental is out to prove that a university education is not necessary. “With the new training program, we are laying the foundations to provide targeted training for new talent in this fast-growing area,” Ariane Reinhart, a Continental board member, said.

Like many German companies, Continental is struggling to find the talent it requires for its business to take part in the digital revolution. Digitalization is changing production, processes and tasks, leading to a dilemma for businesses. While jobs are being lost in many areas because they are becoming automated, there is a shortage of specialists in other fields. Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a digital summit at the beginning of this week that it was “of the greatest importance” to have enough IT specialists in Germany. The current deficit runs into tens of thousands.

Businesses are doing their best to offer additional training, but have yet to find a unified approach that would ensure the future for millions of workers.

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