The shortage of skilled workers has by no means been solved by the Corona crisis. Mass layoffs, economic warnings, short-time work: Corona is bringing the labor market to its knees, with no end to the pandemic in sight. However, anyone who thinks they can sit back and relax in the fight for the best talent and best skills is mistaken.

Covid-19 infection rates are rising worldwide, and only a few countries appear to have the new coronavirus under control. This is bad news for the vast majority of companies: The event industry is completely down, tourism and hospitality are once again struggling with border closures and accommodation bans, and industry and trade continue to suffer from massive export slumps. The shortage of skilled workers, which was omnipresent just a few months ago, no longer seems to be an issue in many places. Of course: When it is no longer a question of growth but of pure survival, the recruitment of new talent with specialist skills is naturally at the bottom of the priority list.

Specialist shortage will keep employers busy

However, in the medium term, the shortage of skilled workers will remain a challenge, at least for the digital economy, healthcare, and STEM professions (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It will reignite the battle for the best talent. These are the findings of a recent survey by international employer branding consultancy Universum. According to the study, 86 percent of global companies firmly believe that new employees’ needs will remain at a high level in the coming year or even increase.

More than every second (56 percent) of the most attractive employers assume that the battle for the best talents and the shortage of skilled labor will intensify in the coming months. For them, recruitment freezes or passive recruiting are therefore out of the question.

They know: Those who stay on the ball now will gain critical competitive advantages in the fight for the best talents and against the shortage of skilled workers after the corona pandemic. To avoid being completely disadvantaged by top employers in the future, companies should not put their recruiting activities on ice completely but rather get themselves in a strong starting position at a good time. Pay particular attention to the following aspects:

Step 1 against skills shortage: Strengthen your public image

Adidas, Google, Bayer, or Bosch – not every company has such a high level of awareness. It will be critical for small and medium-sized companies, in particular, to strengthen their employer brand in a targeted manner. This will not only help in contracting potential candidates but also strengthens employee loyalty and thus counteracts the shortage of skilled workers. A crucial aspect of nipping any likely attempts at poaching from outside in the bud, so that skilled labor does not leave the company in the first place.

Step 2 against skills shortage: Offering prospects

Against the background of scarce resources and limited recruiting budgets, post-corona recruiting should first be focused on strategically important positions and skills. After all, experience shows that these are incredibly difficult to fill. This skill shortage will not change in the future. It makes it all the more essential to convince suitable skilled candidates. Important arguments in this regard: versatile development opportunities and attractive working conditions. This, by the way, is also an excellent way to score points with young skilled workers with high potentials. Because while in the past they were reluctant to commit themselves to a company, this trend seems to be coming to an end: According to a study, one in three Generation Z job entrants wants to stay at their first job for more than four years, while only 6 percent still see their luck in the “Gig Economy”.

Step 3 against skills shortage: Staying in touch

Those who keep their eyes open now, address suitable applicants in a targeted manner, conduct exploratory talks and actively keep interesting skilled candidates on the pole will be ahead in the fight for the best talents after the pandemic. After all, experience shows that it often takes weeks or months to find the potential skilled specialist for an open position. To establish contact with the right skilled employees now is more important for companies than ever. Young employees, in particular, appreciate this: 81 percent of job starters think it is important to stay in contact with employers – even if they currently have no open positions to offer. Thinking ahead is, therefore, the motto.

 

Competence Management TÜV Rheinland Academy

On September 27, 2018, TÜV Rheinland Academy formally released its “Welcoming Industry 4.0 White Paper on the Development of Chinese Vocational Education” (hereafter referred to as the “White Paper”) at the International Summit and Exhibition for Vocational Education held in Guangzhou. Ms. Sherin Lin, Vice President of Academy & Life Care, TÜV Rheinland Greater China, and Carlo Humberg, Expert on the German dual vocational education system from TÜV Rheinland Academy, jointly revealed key parts of the White Paper at the event while also setting out the challenges, opportunities and developments for Chinese vocational education. TÜV Rheinland Academy worked with its equipment partners to introduce advanced vocational education implementations such as VR, Microsoft HoloLens and MR at the exhibition. Visitors were provided with a novel experience on integrated consulting solutions for dual vocational education in China.

White paper on dual vocational education in China

Lin said: “Chinese vocational education is now at a crossroads in development. The rise of Industry 4.0 means the upgrading of the manufacturing industry and the popularization of high and new technologies such as artificial intelligence. Conventional manufacturing expertise is now faced with a new round of challenges in professional development and this means tremendous development potential for technical and vocational education in China. TÜV Rheinland Academy analyzed more than one hundred businesses and schools against this current backdrop. The results were used to compile the White Paper that will hopefully serve as a useful guide for vocational education in China. The White Paper can also provide the Chinese vocational education industry as well as the reform and development of vocational educational institutions with a reference for their decision-making and help promote the cultivation of professional talent in China. ”

The White Paper is divided into three chapters that analyze the following topics based on research findings: Current status of Chinese vocational education in the lead-up to Industry 4.0 age; New opportunities in Chinese vocational education in the Industry 4.0 age; and Development trends in Chinese vocational education. In Chapter 1, TÜV Rheinland explains the challenges facing Chinese vocational education including the mismatch between the standard of vocational education and industry development, shortage of new talent, and shortfall in new vocational educators. Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 dissects the new opportunities for vocational education in the Industry 4.0 age. Highlights include the strengths of the German dual education system and its direction of localization development, as well as an outline of school-business cooperation models, and inter-institution cooperation.

Download free white paper (Chinese):
“Welcoming Industry 4.0 White Paper on the Development of Chinese Vocational Education”

Pannel discussion on “Educational fusion using digital techniques”

Carlo Humberg, our Expert of the German dual vocational education system and the Senior Project Manager of TÜV Rheinland Academy, also took part in the pannel discussion on “Educational fusion using digital techniques” held at the same time. Humberg mentioned that even though the “Industry 4.0” concept is connected to continued increases in the level of automation in manufacturing techniques, it is the people that ultimately matters in “Industry 4.0.” That is why most of the recent discussions about “Industry 4.0” have revolved around the development of useful and essential skillsets in current and future employees. For vocational education in China, the main challenge posed by “Industry 4.0” is to the content of technical training courses. Upgrades must be made in response to technological developments and improvements made to organizational processes for a more team-oriented approach. A decision must then be made on what needs to be integrated.

The latest updates made by Germany to its national teaching materials for electrical and mechanical subjects now incorporate new skills with a particular emphasis on digitization. As the oldest and most famous training and education organization in Europe, TÜV Rheinland Academy inherits the spirit of German craftsmanship and has many years of experience with dual training. It strives to promote the exchange and fusion of advanced techniques and educational models from Germany and China in order to drive the development of Chinese industry and education.

Vocational Training at TÜV Rheinland Academy China

TÜV Rheinland Academy has been operating in China for over three decades, bringing with its over 145 years of brand development and technical expertise as well some of the best talents in the industry. Efforts in recent years have focused on the development of a new approach to vocational education in China. Successful partnerships have been set up with a number of vocational schools including Guangzhou Light Industry Senior Technical School, Jiangmen City Technical School, Hainan College of Vocation and Technique, Shenzhen No.3 Vocational School of Technology, and The First vocational school of Tanggu Binhai new area Tianjin. The above partnerships combined the resources of TÜV Rheinland Academy and the vocational schools to provide a demonstration of the “dual system” in action. In the Sino-German Smart Manufacturing Academy for example the partners built an Industry 4.0 simulated factory that used the latest international technical resources and education system to provide an advanced demonstration of the “smart manufacturing” and “German dual” vocational education system in China. The cultivation of highly skilled talents for supporting the development of the smart manufacturing industry will help drive the transformation and upgrade of the entire industry chain.

In addition to strengthening school-business cooperation in Industry 4.0, TÜV Rheinland Academy is also working with vocational schools to set up training and examination centers. The training center will develop course resources based on international standards that will improve faculty standards and quality of teaching. The center will also carry out testing and accreditation of students based on their actual abilities. Recently completed projects include international training and certification of welding expertise with the Jiangmen Technical School, as well as the New Energy Vehicle Intelligent Automotive Training Center in partnership with Shanghai Boshi Motor Repair School.

“The transformation of Chinese vocational education is a matter of great urgency. TÜV Rheinland will lend its support through its own technical strengths and expertise.” concluded Lin.

Competence Management TÜV Rheinland Academy