Chief personnel officer Kübel: “IT is a key area of expertise in connected manufacturing”
Occupational training for Industry 4.0: production engineering
Women in technical professions: Bosch plans to continue increasing share
Stuttgart – The application process for the 2016 training year has begun, with Bosch offering 1,387 young people apprenticeships. As a result, the number of apprenticeships will approximately match last year's high level. Applicants can choose from over 30 professions, including new career opportunities such as production engineer. With the training curriculum also increasingly covering IT-related topics, the company is preparing apprentices for the demands of connected industry. “The future will be digital and connected. Today, we are already giving our apprentices the skills and knowledge they will need to successfully shape the world of tomorrow. IT is one of the key areas of expertise,” says Christoph Kübel, a member of the board of management and the director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. Mechatronics engineers, industrial mechanics, and electricians are in particularly high demand at the supplier of technology and services. More than 300 apprenticeships are available as dual-education models. All vacancies are posted online at www.bosch.de/ausbildung.
Expertise for the connected world Through occupational training, Bosch ensures that the company has the specialists it needs. Bosch is both a leading provider and a leading exponent in the world of connected manufacturing, also known as Industry 4.0. The need for well-trained specialists is growing. In connected manufacturing, skilled workers need expertise in IT, networking and wireless technologies, as well as process design. “The current job profiles are usually so flexible that it is possible to supplement the existing curriculum with the required training,” Siegfried Czock, who is responsible for occupational training and continuing professional development in Germany, explains. As a result, it is currently not necessary to create new job profiles for the connected world, he says, adding that existing training occupations are capable of meeting the additional requirements, such as comprehensive knowledge of production processes. In keeping with this approach, Bosch started training production engineers at its Feuerbach location in Stuttgart this year. Production engineers plan, oversee, and document industrial production processes. They also set up and commission production lines.
Apprenticeship as well as a degree: more cooperative education options Bosch is expanding its range of cooperative education options. “Cooperative education combines theory and hands-on experience by bringing IHK-certified occupational training and an academic course of studies together. In just four and half years, I'll be able to complete my training as an IT specialist for systems integration and earn a bachelor of science in informatics,” says Charlotte Oberländer, a student in the informatics cooperative education program, describing the advantages. This year, Bosch began offering the “e-mobility plus” cooperative education program in vehicle mechatronics to meet the growing need for engineers in the field of electromobility. The five-year program allows students to earn a bachelor of engineering and complete their occupational training as mechatronics engineers.
Technical professions: not just for men Some 4,300 young people are currently enrolled in occupational training programs at around 50 major locations and 100 smaller sites in Germany. One out of every five apprentices is female. “With 15 percent of our employees in technical professions being women, we are well above the national average in Germany. However, we aim to interest even more young women in a technical career. That's because mixed teams are more creative and more successful,” Czock points out. To kindle girls' interest in for technical professions at an early stage, Bosch supports initiatives such as Girls' Day.
International apprentice exchange Today's apprentices learn problem-solving and social skills early in their careers. During their occupational training, they manage their own junior company, support projects by the Wissensfabrik educational initiative, and take part in a week of activities dedicated to social responsibility. Bosch has also been offering international apprentice exchanges for 60 years. Every year, more than 300 apprentices have the opportunity to discover other countries' ways of working, and to gain intercultural experience. The aim is to help apprentices develop into independent and responsible professionals who are also efficient team players. Bosch is currently training a total of over 7,000 apprentices in more than 30 countries around the world.
Background information for journalists: High-quality connected learning - occupational training at Bosch in Germany: http://bit.ly/1woyr2w
Central works agreement on supporting psychological health
Healthcare as an integral part of a flexible working culture
Chief personnel officer Kübel: “Diagnose and prevent psychological stress”
Chairman of the combined works council Löckle: “Act before it’s too late”
Stuttgart, Germany – Bosch is adding a healthcare element to its flexible working culture. In particular, the supplier of technology and services is pledging to protect and support its associates’ mental health. Together with employee representatives, Bosch has drawn up a central works agreement on this issue for its German locations. The agreement is scheduled to take effect on August 1, 2015. It provides for additional preventive, rehabilitation, and reintegration measures to supplement the company health management program. The aim is to identify psychological stress at an early stage, to heighten associates’ and supervisors’ awareness of this issue, and to provide integrated support programs. The hope is that the agreement will help the issue of mental health to be dealt with more openly. And although psychological stress can be triggered by events both on and off the job, its effects often manifest themselves at the workplace. For this reason, Bosch regards the new regulations as a contribution to better work-life balance.
Supporting health, preventing stress Commenting on the new central works agreement, Christoph Kübel, the director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, says: “Healthy working conditions help people do their job well and also enhance their sense of well-being outside the workplace. That is why we want to prevent psychological stress and deal responsibly with this issue in our interpersonal relationships. Such conditions are part and parcel of modern life , but they are often swept under the carpet.” In Kübel’s view, it is important to create an atmosphere of understanding at the workplace as well, and be able to talk openly about this issue.
Anyone can be affected: creating understanding and sensitivity With the new agreement, Bosch is adding to its company health management program, particularly when it comes to preventing mental illness. The new program element makes use of media such as leaflets, events, e-learning courses, and forums on the Bosch intranet. In addition, supervisors will receive a special guide to dealing with psychologically distressed associates. “Everyone deals with stress and pressure differently. It’s important for people to know what the sources of stress are, and to work with their supervisor to find a remedy if stress becomes excessive,” says Dr. Falko Papenfuss, the chief medical officer at Bosch. It is therefore scheduled to make a training program available for all supervisors by 2016 at the latest. “We hope this measure will make all associates aware of the causes of psychological stress – stress that can have a negative impact and even do permanent harm to health.”
Germany-wide network: making it easy to get help “Nobody is immune to psychological stress, whether the pressure comes from outside or within,” says Alfred Löckle, the chairman of the combined works council at Robert Bosch GmbH. “But offers of preventive help have to be accepted by supervisors and associates alike, before it’s too late. Hence this agreement. We want to do away with the stigma that attaches to mental illness, and make it easier to address such conditions openly.” To facilitate this, Bosch is establishing a comprehensive network of contacts. In addition to direct supervisors, the focus will shift further toward company medical services, in-house social services, and in-house integration teams. The employee representatives are also available as a first point of contact for confidential consultation. At each location, they will receive extra training as in-house contact persons. When it comes to rehabilitation and reintegration into working life, existing programs for assistance and dialogue are being systematically expanded and networked. The aim of these programs is to support associates confronted with extreme stress situations, and to help them become fit for their jobs again.
Protecting anonymity and personal privacy When designing these preventive and assistance services, special attention was paid to ensuring anonymity, data protection, and personal privacy. Following any initial consultation with associates suffering mental stress, for example, supervisors are obliged to refer them to in-house specialists. At Bosch, therefore, rehabilitation and reintegration measures are accompanied by company medical personnel, who have to maintain doctor-patient confidentiality. In-house social services conduct confidential advisory sessions either directly or together with external specialists. For this purpose, Bosch has a number of cooperation and service agreements in place with inpatient and outpatient facilities and agencies from the public healthcare system. Associates whose health insurance is covered by Bosch BKK receive fast access to consultant neurologists or specialists in psychosomatic conditions.
Mental illness in Germany Although psychological stress may have its causes at work or outside work, its effects may only become evident at the workplace. In Germany, workers themselves frequently do not recognize psychological stress, and if they do, they will often try to suppress or hide it for fear of jeopardizing their careers. When consulting primary care physicians, patients will generally describe physical symptoms, but rarely touch on psychological symptoms. The result of this reticence is that many workers become seriously ill on the job and miss more days of work than others. According to the 2014 BKK health report, associates with psychological conditions are on sick leave an average of 40 days each year, which is longer than associates with heart and cardiovascular problems, who miss an average of 22 days. The 2012 Stress Report Germany indicates that healthy leadership behavior protects worker health. Of those workers who receive support from their supervisor on a day-to-day basis, only 17 percent complain of health issues. In cases when workers seldom receive assistance or none at all, the number of those who fall ill increases to 38 percent. According to the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the total annual number of working days lost due to mental illness increased from approximately 34 to 60 million days between 2001 and 2012.
Background information: “Bosch simplifies telecommuting, private phone calls, and internet use at the workplace” press release: http://bit.ly/1DcDUB3 “Bosch adds to its family-friendly working culture” press release: http://bit.ly/1r6eVqV “500 Bosch executives test flexible working models” press release: http://bit.ly/1p3QSEt “Bosch as an employer: work-life balance at Bosch” press kit (German): http://bit.ly/1LRDUrU
Student teams put race cars to the test on the company test track
Recruiting specialist Winter: “Promoting young talent on 39 race teams”
Bosch is looking for 12,000 university graduates worldwide
Stuttgart, Germany – Bosch is expanding its involvement in the Formula Student Germany (FSG) international design competition. This year, the supplier of technology and services is sponsoring four additional student groups in Germany, each of which will compete as a race team. Altogether, Bosch is lending a hand to 39 race teams from Germany, the U.K., Austria, Switzerland, and Turkey. They will be making a pit stop with their race cars at the Bosch proving ground in Boxberg, Germany from July 17 to 18, 2015, where more than 250 participants will set about preparing approximately 25 vehicles for the final race at the Hockenheimring circuit. Some 40 Bosch technicians and engineers will advise and assist the promising young talent during the two-day workshop.
Discovering new talent and fostering the next generation “Our many years of sponsorship are evidence of our enthusiasm for motorsport and the mobility of the future, as well as our commitment to fostering the next generation of engineers,” says Vera Winter, head of personnel marketing for Germany at Bosch. “These talented young people not only benefit from our engineers’ expertise, but also get the opportunity to get to know Bosch as an employer and establish some initial contacts.” The annual workshop in Boxberg has become a standing event in the teams’ calendars. Bosch’s support for the teams extends from giving them access to specialists to placing the company’s test track in Boxberg at their disposal.
Connected world, connected race cars The importance of software also continues to grow with regard to race cars. “Above all, the growing connectivity of components and systems, in addition to the increasing development of new functions, means that more and more experience with software and IT is required as well,” says Simon Mörsdorf. The 24-year-old mechanical engineering student, who is writing his master’s thesis at Bosch, was a part of the action last year on the KA-RaceIng e.V. team. “It is a tremendous help to have specialists on hand to lend support by sharing their know-how with you.” The teams have the opportunity to test the race cars they developed and designed in racing conditions at the Bosch proving ground. “The cars go through all the same tests you would find at races at the Hockenheimring circuit,” Mörsdorf says. “They include acceptance testing and various acceleration and endurance trials.”
Workshops, advice, and testing During the workshop in Boxberg, the students benefit from extensive support, including expert presentations on safety when working with high voltages or measuring technology, as well as more general presentations about vehicle-testing events. The teams are also provided with motorsport components and software. The support is rounded out by expert advice and assistance from Bosch specialists in automotive engineering and system design.
Career opportunities: Bosch on the hunt for 12,000 university graduates After the Formula Student, talented young people can continue full speed ahead into a career, as Bosch plans to recruit some 12,000 university graduates worldwide this year. The countries where the company has the greatest need for recruiting trained graduates are India, which plans some 3,200 new hires, China, which plans 2,600 new hires, and Germany, which plans 1,200 new hires. In addition to mechanical and electrical engineers, graduates with an IT background have especially favorable prospects. As connectivity expands in every business sector – especially Mobility Solutions, with regard to emergency braking systems, for example – the importance of software is also growing.
Training also available for IT and commercial functions
New year of training starts with 80 women and men
200 million euros for associates' professional development
Christoph Kübel, Bosch director of industrial relations: “Lifelong learning is a competitive advantage”
Stuttgart – Bosch is preparing its skilled workers for the demands of the connected working world and is expanding its development program for skilled workers in Germany to do so. In the future, the supplier of technology and services will train associates without a college degree to take on positions in IT and commercial fields that normally require higher education. Since 1999, Bosch has been offering skilled workers in technical professions a two-year development program that gives them the opportunity to take on responsibilities similar to those of an engineer. The expansion aims to meet the growing demand for software expertise and prepare associates for jobs in connected production, also known as Industry 4.0, among other things. Some 80 skilled workers, including ten women, are participating in this year's class. Around 700 participants have completed the program since it began.
Skilled people for the connected working world “The increasing level of connectivity in our plants calls for highly trained skilled workers, because their tasks are growing more and more challenging,” Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, told the roughly 90 graduates of the program obtaining their certification this year in Gerlingen, near Stuttgart. “Our associates' willingness to keep learning throughout their lives is a competitive advantage for us. That is why we as an employer are focusing on competence management that provides the necessary knowledge and skills.” Kübel announced that Bosch intends to invest more than 200 million euros worldwide in its associates' training this year.
Back to school – with a busy life A mix of online seminars, classroom learning, and group study projects are planned to allow participants to complete training while they work. As a result, certain courses can be completed from a home computer. “It was both a career opportunity and a challenging time for me,” Mario Löhrlein, a mechatronics engineer at the Bosch plant in Bamberg, recalled at the graduation ceremony. “Juggling a career, a private life, and training at the same time, all while spending time abroad, was a real challenge. But my family and my supervisor lent me their full support.” The 30-year-old entered the development program in 2013. During his training, he had the opportunity to spend six months helping oversee a production start-up at the Bosch plant in Wuxi, China.
50 days of training call for dedication The training program, which will be known in the future as the “Skilled workers development program,” is aimed at associates without a college degree who have good professional qualifications and are interested in comprehensive professional development. “The training program lasts around two years and consists of 50 days of training,” says Siegfried Czock, who is responsible for occupational and further training at Bosch. “The participants spend 20 days of this time when they are off the job, such as at weekend seminars.” According to Czock, the program seeks to teach specialist and conceptual skills (including quality and process management as well as work methods) plus interdisciplinary knowledge of methods and social skills (such as project management, facilitation, and foreign languages). At the end of the program, the participants write a report on topics such as process optimization, error analysis, or energy management.
Consistent global competence management ensures quality standards At Bosch, global competence management ensures that associates participate in ongoing training according to consistent quality standards. A Bosch Training Center with six locations worldwide teaches skills and knowledge following proactive analysis of participants' needs. Bosch has many years of experience in the field of connected manufacturing and is able to draw on expertise as both a leading supplier and a leading exponent. Czock sees that as an advantage: “We also put this know-how to use in the skilled workers development program to give our associates the best possible preparation for their future jobs.”