The competition for talent has started

Eight experts for individual personnel strategies and securing specialist staff will be on hand to small and medium-sized companies in Saxony-Anhalt in the future. They would like to help to raise awareness of an important topic for the years to come and to offer their practical support. The network provided by RegioCoaching will be available on-site until late summer. The specialists closely cooperate with the business developers of the communes. The FörderService GmbH of the Investitionsbank Sachsen-Anhalt is the supporter of the project. Managing Director Dr. Uta Blümel provides information about this and further possibilities for offering support to medium-sized companies in the interview below.

The competition for talent has started. Companies are increasingly searching for all types of specialist staff. This is increasingly difficult against the background of the demographic development. Saxony-Anhalt is confronting this area. You are breaking new ground with RegioCoaching...
RegioCoaching is a milestone in the state's complex range of measures which logically complements the state's existing key projects, programmes and the activities of the specialist staff assurance package. And this is a matter of laying foundations in good time. We think that we can offer a new take on small and medium-sized company support to companies together with a number of other partners. Our coaches have two goals. Firstly, they should organise the dialogue in the five planning regions of Saxony-Anhalt and bring as many stakeholders as possible to the table. Secondly, they should give concrete advice to companies.

What might this look like?

Very different - what matters for us is tackling the individual situation in the company. In the process, for example, I think of new and above all flexible working time models which, for instance, allow older employees to contribute their experience despite their changed habits or according to their ability. For young people with family, there may be completely different wishes which are oriented, for example, around child care. The facets of employer branding will also have a greater role in the future. Here it is a case of raising awareness among companies correspondingly. It is clear to us that there are owners and managing directors of medium-sized companies which are responsible for many things at the same time with few employees. They take care of buying, accounting and the material supply. It is often the case that personnel planning is kept on track through a permanent excess demand.

But it is precisely these which are gaining in importance. It is not just a case of top salaries. The market has changed. Specialists can actually seek out their future place of employment.

That is precisely the point that we are putting forward. It not just money that plays a role. Both the company climate and the framework conditions have to be right. Anyone clever offers their employees opportunities and thus puts in own company on stable ground in terms of personnel. Further training is part of this, this is the key to the future. Talented staff are increasingly proving to be flexible, they actually have the opportunity to work anywhere. Securing them and holding onto them is what counts.

The topic of qualification plays an important role for you today. Amongst other things, you assist companies in the qualification of employees. The support programme "Saxony-Anhalt FURTHER TRAINING" makes it easier to finance this. What will this actually entail?
Lets just take two examples. Specialist staff are desperately required In the health sector, the electronics sector but also in other professional fields. The potential labour force between Arendsee and will continue to decline until 2016. Experts expect a decline of 155,000 people over this period who will mainly retire or take early retirement. The market barely offers the corresponding employees for the many open positions. On the other hand, current employees can also be trained to get up-to-date. Training is more than the be all and end all for the development of companies and counts if one wants to retain specialist staff. Clever and foresighted qualified planning is becoming increasingly important. The state of Saxony-Anhalt is supporting various types of company qualification measures using European Social Fund resources. Small and medium-sized companies can enjoy subsidies of up to 70% here. In this way, we have been able to support around 1,300 individual measures since 2009. A total of 19 million Euro is available for this until 2014. During the financial crisis, an array of companies took the opportunity to implement qualification projects during the reduced working hours. They saw this as a way to buy time after the decrease of orders. This programme is looked after together with the Investitionsbank Sachsen-Anhalt (IB) which completely took over the state's shares in our company in 2008 which is now 20 years old. Since then, we have served as a 100% subsidiary of the IB.

FörderService GmbH assists various programmes...
That's right, we have an entire selection of offers in store. Let me cite a few examples. For example, there is the Federal Programme Training Position Programme East with the state supplementary programme. It has been running since 2006 and will end in approx. 2014. Here we have been able to place more than 8,600 young people in vocational training. In the state programme "Active until retirement“, 33,000 people benefited form a subsidy. It is intended to offer the long-time unemployed who are fit for work, aged over 50 and in receipt of unemployment benefit II a long-term job. The preservation or reestablishment of their employability should help to improve their chances of integration on the regular employment market.

I would also like to mention that we notably organise competitions for ideas and calls for bids for the selection of ESF supported projects for the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

You do not operate alone, detached from other activities between Altmark and Burgenland. How important are networks?They have an essential role. Let's take our initiative NETWORK-KMU (network for small and medium-sized businesses initiative) for the safeguarding and strengthening of small and medium-sized companies. Among other things, it accounts for the start-up of the mentioned RegioCoaching. For seven years, we have organised 68 partner workshops, have assisted companies with almost 900 consultations and have fulfilled our role of navigator. Regardless whether IB, DEHOGA, Chambers of Crafts, the Chambers of Industry and Commerce in the state, we join forces with everyone together in the interest of the advice seeking company and already have long-standing, close and trustworthy contacts. Let's cite, for example, the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW) as representative of such cooperations. With its more than 1,400 members in Saxony-Anhalt, it also has first hand experience of the problems and the needs of medium-sized companies. But it is natural here that we work together for many projects and also rely on the professional advice of this party.

This interview was held by Klaus-Peter Voigt
Klaus-Peter Voigt

FörderService GmbH der Investitionsbank Sachsen-Anhalt
Leipziger Straße 49a
39112 Magdeburg
Contact partner: Managing Director Dr. Uta Blümel
ph: +49 391 6054-403