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The Hanover Region. Hanover is ahead of the game in the international competition for young talent: the Hanover Region ranks 18th among 27 commended European cities in the European Cities Talent Competitiveness Index (ECTCI) and is thus considered one of the leading areas for retaining skilled workers in Europe. These were the findings of INSEAD university, which compiled the index for Europe for the first time. Ulf-Birger Franz, Head of Economics for the Hanover Region, is delighted with the distinction: “This is a wonderful acknowledgement of our work and our efforts to attract young talent to Hanover and keep it here.”
Projects to retain skilled workers are proving effective
“One of the reasons for the award is that we are particularly active in nurturing the existing skilled worker potential using the rated projects and measures for retaining skilled workers. We even achieved fourth place in this sub-index,” says Alexander Skubowius, Head of the Department of Economy and Employment for the Hanover Region, from Bilbao in Spain, where the results of the European Cities Talent Competitiveness Index were announced on 13 and 14 December.
The Hanover Region has launched a range of projects in recent years to attract and develop skilled workers and invests a total of approx. 1.8 million euros a year in activities to promote employment.
High quality when transitioning from school to job
According to the ECTCI, the Hanover Region performed particularly well when it came to transitioning from school to work, training schemes and university. Examples: the training portal Azubi21 is operated by the Region together with the 21 local authorities and is a central platform advertising placements and traineeships.
At 23 schools in the Hanover Region careers advisers help school pupils make the transition from school to traineeships and further study. This joint project with the local employment agency is the only of its kind in Germany. “These services are held in high regard throughout Lower Saxony and result in good transition rates – more and more young people are moving directly from school to traineeships,” highlights Ulf-Birger Franz.
The job starter project “Switch instead of withdraw” develops and trials new measures and models for the professional training and further education of those who have discontinued their studies. There are two female members of staff in the employment office, who are the direct contacts for students who wish to change their career path.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths: ensuring a pool of young skilled labour in the so-called STEM fields is another focal point of the employment office. Project examples include the Roberta RegioZentrum Hanover and the Robot Factory, which offer integrated and continuous training to bridge the gap between school and (robotics) traineeships.
Successful programmes for women returning to work
The employment office also supports the professional and occupational development of women in the Hanover Region. This includes the services offered by the Women and Careers coordination office, as well as, for example “Back2Job – Female Engineers Wanted”, a project by the Skilled Workers’ Alliance which started in April to ease women (back) into technical STEM jobs.
Skilled labour potential from other European countries
The Hanover Region can also provide examples of projects to secure skilled labour potential from other European countries: the Hanover Chamber of Industry and Commerce has been promoting the “Adelante/Vamos” project in cooperation with the Department of Economy and Employment and the Caritas association since 2013. In this project, young people from Spain are trained up for the German labour market and prepared for dual education/on-the-job training schemes or starting their career. Similar projects have been running for a year for young people from Poland and Greece too.
Ensuring a pool of skilled workers is one of the key challenges for the Hanover Region in the future. To this end, 11 stakeholders from administration, business and education in the Hanover Region made a pact in September 2014 to create a strong industrial base and together form the Skilled Workers’ Alliance for the Hanover Region. The purpose of this Alliance is to set focal points for (further) development measures and projects to retain skilled workers and to implement them in consultation with the partners.
The Skilled Workers’ Alliance focuses on seven areas and priorities for action: regional skilled labour monitoring, the transition from school to job, traineeship or university, the topic of family and career, location marketing, strategic HR development and further training, immigration and the welcome culture as well as cooperation between businesses and universities.