HR and CSR issues

Combating youth unemployment Bosch continues southern Europe apprenticeship initiative Additional projects in Italy and Spain

  • Bosch creates 75 new vocational training opportunities for young people from Italy and Spain: 50 in Germany, 15 in Spain, 10 in Italy
  • New “Prepare for the future” project reaches 40,000 school students in Italy
  • Christoph Kübel, director of industrial relations: “Occupational training concept with intercultural assistance has proved successful.”
Stuttgart, Germany – Bosch is once again creating 75 vocational training opportunities for young people from Italy and Spain to help combat the high level of youth unemployment in these countries. By doing so, the supplier of technology and services is continuing its southern Europe apprenticeship initiative with a new year of apprenticeships. In 2014, Bosch created 100 additional apprenticeships for young men and women from Italy, Portugal, and Spain. “Our occupational training concept with strong intercultural assistance has proved successful. We remain committed to this initiative, as youth unemployment remains very high, especially in Italy and Spain,” said Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. Qualified vocational training significantly improves young people’s job prospects, Kübel added. Of the apprenticeships Bosch is offering, 50 are in Germany, 15 are in Spain, and 10 are in Italy. The positions in Germany are for Spanish apprentices, as youth unemployment is particularly high in Spain. Bosch also has greater training capacities in Germany than in Spain. Here the apprentices can earn qualifications for the Spanish labor market starting in fall 2017. Bosch is also involved in vocational training projects in Italy and Spain to prepare young people for the demands of working life. In total, Bosch is making a total of 175 additional apprenticeships and around 14 million euros available to combat youth unemployment in southern Europe.

Positive results so far – success factors for integration
Twenty months into the program, the Spanish apprentices from the first round in Germany have completed the first part of their exams in professions such as mechatronics engineer or industrial mechanic. Like their fellow German apprentices, they have completed the practical and theoretical portions in German. “The results of the exams reaffirm the design of our apprenticeship program. In the practical portion, they are on par with German apprentices, whereas the language remains a particular challenge in the written theoretical portion,” says Siegfried Czock, the head of occupational and professional training at Bosch in Germany. The trainers are confident that the young Spaniards will pass the final exams after three and a half years. “Completing your occupational training in a different country with a foreign language and culture is a big step,” says Ana Maria San Andres Gonzalez, who comes from near Madrid, Spain. She is training to be a mechatronics engineer at the Bosch location in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. “That’s why it’s important to me to also find my way outside of work and feel at ease. My trainers, colleagues, and vocational school teachers support me in this every day.”

Bosch supports the apprentices with language courses, professional mentors, and social-educational supervision. “Teaching language skills is pivotal to learning and to successful integration. Intercultural training and constant supervision by qualified trainers are the key to successful occupational training abroad,” Czock says, summing up the success factors. In comparable projects throughout Germany, the average drop-out rate is around 40 percent. At Bosch, 40 of the original 45 participants are still in the program.

Prepare for the future – new occupational training project in Italy and Spain
To prepare school and college students for the demands of their future careers, Bosch has launched two new educational projects in Italy and Spain. The “Prepare for the future” project gives school students a first glimpse into the working world and potential career profiles. In Italy, the project already reached more than 40,000 students at around 200 schools in its first year. On account of the positive feedback, Bosch will also start offering “Prepare for the future” in Spain this year. In another project, the supplier of technology and services is adapting elements of the German dual education system to the situation in Italy. In the first year, Bosch placed more than 100 participants in training and apprenticeship programs at Bosch locations or with customers. Numerous partners – such as regional governments, non-profit organizations, and companies – are supporting the projects.

Leveraging experience to support the integration of refugees
Bosch is also contributing its experience with the apprenticeship initiative to support the integration of refugees. This year, Bosch’s refugee-focused offerings include some 400 internships at roughly 30 locations. The goal is to work with vocational training departments to help refugees prepare for the job market or an apprenticeship. The company first teaches the responsible trainers intercultural skills. Kübel: “From our apprenticeship initiative, we know that intercultural assistance, along with learning the language quickly, is important for refugees’ integration. This is particularly true for young people who are on their own for the first time.” The Bosch locations are also making unused property and company-owned housing available for refugee accommodation, in addition to supporting local initiatives with non-cash donations. In addition, the company and its associates together raised 820,000 euros which will be used to finance more than 100 refugee aid projects, all of which were proposed by Bosch associates.

Additional information:
Apprenticeship initiative in southern Europe
Study: youth unemployment in Europe
Youth unemployment rates in the EU
Video portrait: Bosch apprentice Christian Sánchez Aranda.

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Michael Kattau, phone: +49 711 811-6029
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Changes in the composition of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG and the supervisory board of Robert Bosch GmbH

  • Bridge-builder for Bosch: Tilman Todenhöfer steps down from supervisory board and Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand
  • Also stepping down: Prof. Olaf Kübler and Dr. Michael Otto
  • New to Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand: Prof. Renate Köcher and Prof. Lino Guzzella
  • New to the supervisory board: Prof. Elgar Fleisch and Prof. Michael Kaschke
  • New managing partner of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand: Dr. Wolfgang Malchow
Stuttgart, Germany – There have been several changes in the composition of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG (RBIK) and of the Robert Bosch GmbH supervisory board. After having reached the mandatory retirement age, Tilman Todenhöfer (72) and Prof. Olaf Kübler (73) have stepped down from both bodies. Dr. Michael Otto (72) is also leaving the RBIK for age reasons. Effective April 8, 2016, the vacant places in the RBIK will be taken by Prof. Renate Köcher (63) and Prof. Lino Guzzella (58). Effective April 9, 2016, Prof. Elgar Fleisch (48) and Prof. Michael Kaschke (58) have been newly appointed to the supervisory board.

Tilman Todenhöfer: bridge-builder and diplomat
Todenhöfer served the Bosch Group for some 40 years in all. Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the shareholders’ meeting and of the supervisory board of Robert Bosch GmbH, paid tribute to Todenhöfer’s successful career: “Tilman Todenhöfer was an important bridge-builder, both within the company and on its behalf. At the start of the 1990s, he used his great diplomatic and interpersonal skills to forge a settlement between the two parties to the wage disputes of those years.” Todenhöfer’s time as director of industrial relations at Bosch was above all one in which far-reaching changes in working-time policy were made at engineering and manufacturing locations.

“Many employer representatives are aware of the different interests in negotiations. But only few know how to consider the positions of both sides and reach fair compromises. Tilman Todenhöfer was one of the few,” said Alfred Löckle, deputy chairman of the supervisory board and chairman of the central and combined works councils of Robert Bosch GmbH. “The industrial relations of the 1990s and the first decade of our millennium bear the stamp of Tilman Todenhöfer. They secured Germany’s competitiveness as an industrial location,” Fehrenbach added. It was also during this period that the company pension scheme was restructured. With the capital benefit plan (1998) and the Bosch pensions fund (2002), Bosch was the first industrial enterprise in Germany to provide a capital-based pension scheme for its associates.

Todenhöfer also played an active role in politics and society. At the end of the 1990s, he was a strong advocate of the German industry initiative to compensate people employed as forced laborers by the National Socialist regime. In the summer of 2000, Bosch was one of the founding members of the “Remembrance, Responsibility, and Future” foundation. In 2008, Todenhöfer was co-initiator of “Afrika kommt!”, an initiative of German industry for future leaders from subsaharan Africa. Summing up the debt the company owes to Todenhöfer, Fehrenbach said: “Associates, the shareholders, and the supervisory board would like to thank Tilman Todenhöfer for his extraordinary dedication and the many ways he has served the company over the past 40 years.”

Todenhöfer was appointed to the Bosch management board in 1993, becoming director of industrial relations in the same year. A qualified lawyer, he joined the RBIK in 1996. From 1999 to 2003, he was deputy chairman of the board of management. From mid-2003, he was one of the two managing partners of the RBIK. He was a member of the supervisory board of Robert Bosch GmbH from 2004.

Collaboration in a spirit of trust: Fehrenbach thanks Otto and Kübler
Fehrenbach also thanked Otto and Kübler for their contributions over the past several years. “At a very early stage, Michael Otto showed that successful entrepreneurship and sustainability are not mutually exclusive, but mutually beneficial. With this fundamental conviction, he played a significant role in the successful evolution of the Bosch Group.” The chairman of the Otto Group supervisory board, Otto joined the RBIK in 2005.

Speaking of Kübler, Fehrenbach said: “With his scientific knowledge and expertise in areas such as image processing, artificial intelligence, and robotics, Olaf Kübler provided important stimuli for the innovations developed at Bosch.” The former director of Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich has been a member of the supervisory board and the RBIK since 2007.

Successors in the RBIK and on the supervisory board
Prof. Renate Köcher, the managing director of the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research, has been made a limited partner of the RBIK. The economist has been a member of the Robert Bosch GmbH supervisory board since 2012. She is also a member of the board of trustees of Robert Bosch Stiftung. Prof. Lino Guzzella, the president of ETH Zurich, has also been made a limited partner. Tilman Todenhöfer’s successor as managing partner of the RBIK will be Dr. Wolfgang Malchow. The former director of industrial relations and management board member of Robert Bosch GmbH has been a limited partner of the RBIK since July 2014. Since early 2012, he has been a member of the Robert Bosch GmbH supervisory board.

Prof. Elgar Fleisch has been newly appointed to the supervisory board. A business information technology graduate, he is a full professor of information and technology management at the University of St. Gallen and a professor of innovation management in ETH Zurich’s Department of Management, Technology, and Economics. At the University of St. Gallen, Prof. Fleisch also runs the Bosch IoT Lab, which researches business models for the internet of things. Joining him as a new member of the supervisory board is Prof. Michael Kaschke, president and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG. Kaschke, who has a PhD in physics, is an honorary professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s faculty for electronics and information science. Among other things, he is a member of the U.S. Board of the Presiding Committee of the BDI (Confederation of German Industry) and of the German government’s Council of Science and Humanities.

About Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG
RBIK carries out the entrepreneurial ownership functions at Robert Bosch GmbH. The role of Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand (industrial trust) is the result of the distinctive corporate constitution of Robert Bosch GmbH. It came into force in 1964, and safeguards the lifework of the company founder Robert Bosch (1861 to 1942). According to this constitution, a total of 92% of the shares in Robert Bosch GmbH are held by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a charitable foundation. The Bosch family holds a strong seven percent of the share capital, while the remaining shares are held by Robert Bosch GmbH and the RBIK. With the voting rights, the situation is different: RBIK has 93 percent of the voting rights, with the Bosch family holding the rest.

With Prof. Renate Köcher and Prof. Lino Guzzella, the RBIK comprises ten shareholders. The two managing partners are Franz Fehrenbach and Dr. Wolfgang Malchow. The other shareholders are Dr. Christof Bosch, representing the Bosch family, Dr. Siegfried Dais, former deputy chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, chairman of the directors of BASF SE, Prof. Lars G. Josefsson, former president and CEO of Vattenfall AG, and Urs Rinderknecht, former chief executive of the Swiss bank UBS.

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