Friedrichshafen. Increasing digitization and networking in production, which is making its way into companies under the banner "Industry 4.0", is changing the world of work. Experts and practicians from companies and associations, from trade unions, educational institutions and from the German Federal Employment Agency were invited by ZF Friedrichshafen AG to discuss the effects of this change and how those involved can shape it.
Changes in the working environment will cause increased interaction between humans and machines. This requires new qualifications for employees, as they will "produce" less in the future and much more take on the role of subject matter experts, decision makers and coordinators. "Digitization opens doors to shape new opportunities, content, processes and the organization of work," said Jürgen Holeksa, ZF Board Member Human Resources and Director of Labor Relations, on Monday at the ZF training summit in Friedrichshafen. Around 60 participants from companies, associations, trade unions, educational institutes and from the German Federal Employment Agency came to ZF for the summit. "The future will require an even deeper understanding of IT, data structures and the specifics of production. This will increase the need for interdisciplinary cooperation and creative thinking. We will seize these opportunities together with our employees and tackle the new challenges."
According to Holeksa, universities, vocational schools and companies must orientate themselves to this trend toward interdisciplinary approaches and adjust their training and study content accordingly. He stated that basic training in mechatronics and IT is a must against the backdrop of the digitization megatrend. Hybrid qualifications in particular will therefore be even more important in the future. The emphasis here is to take advantage both of the opportunities provided by digitization but also of the competitive advantage of our globally unique training model.
Along with management and employee representatives, ZF is currently checking how significantly the training courses offered are affected by digitization and how they can be adapted to meet current requirements. Training and subsequent, well-structured further training programs help to cover all qualification profiles.
But even vocational schools are called upon to reform their current teaching content and methods. "And, last but not least, it is left to the individual initiative of employees to actively make use of what is on offer," emphasized Holeksa.