01 Oct 2020 | Press Release No. 44
The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit – BA), the Federal Employers’ Association of the Chemical Industry (Bundesarbeitgeberverband Chemie – BAVC) and the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (Industriegewerkschaft Bergbau, Chemie, Energie – IG BCE) are jointly committed to strengthening advanced training in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry in the context of structural change. On the basis of the Qualification Opportunities Act, the BA provides targeted support to employees and employers in the sector in organising and financing the advanced training of employees.
The chemical industry is thus the first whole industry in Germany to make use of the opportunities offered by the Qualification Opportunities Act together with the BA as part of an overarching social partnership agreement. A corresponding letter of intent was signed in Nuremberg. The BAVC and IG BCE are thereby implementing the “Qualification Offensive Chemistry” established in the 2019 collective agreement, which is intended to equip the 580,000 employees in the industry’s 1,900 companies for structural change.
BA Head Detlef Scheele: “A win for everyone”
“We very much welcome the agreement between the social partners in the chemical industry on a comprehensive strategy for employee qualification. This makes it a pioneer in Germany. In our view, social partnership agreements are the best way to accompany employees in the transformation process in the coming years and to support them in their advanced training. The social partners know the general conditions of the company and the qualification needs of the employees. We can supplement this with personal advice, financial support and our digital services. That way, everyone wins: The companies protect their skilled workers and the employees receive the necessary qualifications for new jobs while working.”
BAVC Managing Director Stiller: “Staying innovative and competitive”
“Digitalisation, climate protection and not least the coronavirus pandemic are massively accelerating the structural change of the economy. In order to remain innovative and competitive in the long term, we need more and better training, also and especially in the high-tech chemical and pharmaceutical industry,” emphasises BAVC CEO Klaus-Peter Stiller. “Our cooperation with the Federal Employment Agency (BA) and IG BCE is an important building block for a good future for the sites and jobs. Above all, it can help to improve individual employability and meet the companies’ need for skilled workers.”
IG BCE Board Member Reinbold-Knape: “Investing in the know-how of the people.”
“Advanced training is the key to success in industrial transformation. This applies to employees and companies alike,” says Petra Reinbold-Knape, member of the managing board of IG BCE. “A great task lies ahead of us, which can only be shouldered through concerted action by trade unions, employers and the state. Our cooperation is therefore exemplary. Digitalisation and climate-friendly transformation must become an opportunity for employees. It is therefore only logical to invest in people’s know-how. For this we need instruments and advice that support the works councils and management, as well as each individual employee.”
Launch in Three Pilot Regions from 2021
The core of the agreement is the participation of the BA in joint events in the companies, as well as the offer of timely and local personal counselling interviews for employers and employees. The BA’s counselling and career guidance events focus on development prospects, funding opportunities and suitable qualification measures. At the same time, starting in 2021 workers will have access to a self-assessment tool that will support them in their individual career orientation.
The BAVC and IG BCE will inform their members about the advisory service and encourage them to take advantage of it. In addition, the BAVC and IG BCE provide a tool for the analysis of company qualification needs which can be used for counselling. The aim is to promote motivation for advanced training and thus maintain innovation and employability. The offering will initially be tested next year in the pilot regions of Hesse, North East and North Rhine and, if successful, will be rolled out nationwide.
Further information on advanced training for employees, the Qualification Opportunities Act and the funding opportunities offered by the Bundesagentur für Arbeit can be found here: https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/m/weiterbildung-qualifizierungsoffensive/