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Education & Modern Work
New work concepts, digitalized workplaces, changing expectations of employees: The world of work is undergoing rapid change, placing high demands on politics, society and companies. But what does this mean in concrete terms? How can companies and educational institutions prepare for the change in order to take advantage of the transformation?

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Recruiting young talent and school

How can school leavers be attracted to mechanical engineering? On this page you will find useful information, ideas, studies and helpful VDMA offers for members.

If you want hard success, you should start soft

Especially after a crisis, it is important to start with the right business models and suitable systems and structures and to cut off old habits. The culture of innovation is an important prerequisite for all efforts.

Working in a home office

For many employees, working in a home office is a completely new situation, one that has caught them very unprepared. This raises a multitude of practical and legal questions.

The right labour market policy for greater competitiveness

Competitiveness, sustainable growth and long-term employment security require adaptability to a dynamic environment and a flexible labour market.

Our offer for industry-relevant competence development

Our learning offers promote the individual technical professionalization as well as the development of new competences - with a view to the current and future requirements in the companies.

VDMA Initiative "Skilled Workers for Africa

Africa is a continent of opportunities. In order to take advantage of them, qualified local skilled workers are particularly in demand. They are the engine for the development and diversification of the economy.

"Digital Mechanical Engineering" - a transfer project bears fruit

In April 2019, the Maschinenhaus Initiative launched a partnership with the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences as part of a transfer project. As of the winter semester 2021/22, the university will now offer students the innovative study programme "Digital Mechanical Engineering", which was initiated in the course of the transfer project.

IT specialists in mechanical engineering: cooperation joins forces

The demand for MINT specialists is increasing. VDMA Ost and the IT Central Germany cluster now want to jointly counteract the shortage.

Number of the week

The majority of companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector are planning to recruit new staff. However, companies are threatened by staff shortages, which could become a brake on innovation. About 82% of human resources managers from VDMA member companies report current shortages of skilled personnel.

Shortage of skilled personnel worsens again

The majority of companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector are planning to recruit new staff. The situation has improved for young talent as the companies plan to expand their vocational training and dual study programs. Companies, on the other hand, are threatened with personnel bottlenecks that could endanger their innovative thrust.

Working groups: Everything you need to know at a glance

The VDMA East working groups provide important impulses for your daily work. They show best practice examples, provide valuable suggestions and promote contacts among members - currently also in web meetings.

Unique vocational training programme launched in Nigeria

The VDMA and the Aliko Dangote Foundation have given the starting signal for their joint programme for qualifying Nigerian workers with industry-relevant skills in Lagos. As of now, 500 skilled workers can be trained each year in the training centre set up by African and German partners.

Study: New competence requirements due to digital transformation

Your support is needed: On behalf of the VDMA, the Kienbaum Institute @ ISM is conducting a study aimed at identifying the new competence requirements resulting from the digital transformation in our member companies.

Facts and figures: Education and workforce in mechanical engineering

In our theme publications, you will find facts, figures and data related to vocational training, engineering courses, skilled workers, mechanical engineers and women in mechanical engineering.

New Work: How can companies get started?

New Work and corporate agility are among the megatrends in society and business. The transformation is happening slowly, but inexorably. The reason for this is not only the changing expectations of employees and social changes, but above all the rapidly changing framework conditions of business due to digitalization, among other things. The mechanical and plant engineering sector must increase its speed of innovation and reaction. Classic management principles are increasingly reaching their limits here. With this series of events, the VDMA offers you the opportunity to drill deep into various aspects of New Work and Agility. In addition to a brief input, workshops will focus on the transfer into practice. Due to the modular structure, you have the option of booking individual topics or the entire series. Of course we are also available for consultation afterwards.

Cooperation in teaching: New good practice examples in the Maschinenhaus Toolbox

Do you always have to reinvent the wheel? Not necessarily . The Maschinenhaus Toolbox offers a comprehensive collection of good practice examples that can serve as orientation for the further development of university teaching. The latest additions focus on corporate cooperation in higher education teaching.

Opportunities in Africa

Dr. Reinhold Festge, former VDMA President and initiator of the VDMA initiative "Skilled Workers for Africa" on the potential of African markets for German mechanical and plant engineering.

Criteria for the successful implementation of vocational education and training in Africa

VDMA works closely with the training provider PTS (Professional Training Solutions GmbH) to develop and implement its vocational training and continuing education programmes in Africa. PTS Managing Director Joachim Kühnrich provides insights into local conditions and explains criteria for successful implementation.

Figures on the VDMA Africa Initiative

As part of the VDMA Africa Initiative, skilled workers have been trained in Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria since 2018. Below is more detailed information on the number of people trained in each country and the courses offered there.

Company participation in the development of skilled workers in Africa

African markets offer a wide range of market potential that has so far remained largely untapped by German companies - the Africa export quota of the German mechanical and plant engineering industry was just two percent in 2020. Many best practice examples show that entering African markets through vocational training and further education is a promising approach.

Working World 4.0: Practical Examples and Guidelines

Companies face the challenge of equipping themselves for rapid change in terms of organization, leadership and collaboration. Three guides/studies can provide support.

THINK BIG! - New impact at bauma 2022

THINK BIG!, the event that gets young people excited about technology, will be held again, now for the 4th time, at the next bauma (24 - 30.10.2022).

Inspire young people with emotions instead of classic careers

A poor plastics image has an impact on attracting young talent. Companies therefore have a great need for information and the creation of awareness. The plastics machinery manufacturer Kurtz Ersa is setting a good example.

Invitation: Launch of the ADF-VDMA Technical Training Programme

On June 2nd 2021, Aliko Dangote Foundation and VDMA’s Foundation for Young Talent will officially launch their joint TVET-programme, the “ADF-VDMA Technical Training Programme”

Cooperation in international education and training

For the establishment of the training centres in Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria, the VDMA works closely with its cooperation partners. On the one hand, the administrative and financial handling with the funding agencies is important, and on the other hand, a close cooperation with local partners.

Approach and goals of the VDMA initiative "Skilled Workers for Africa

In many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa there is a high demand for skilled workers, especially in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. There is therefore a strong link between market entry and vocational education and training in Africa. By setting up local training and further education centres, the VDMA is helping its member companies to build up the necessary local capacities.

German machinery and plant engineering in Africa

Exports and investments in African markets at a low level not only due to Corona

Information sources about Corona in Africa

Recognised institutions inform about the pandemic situation

Market entry and vocational training in Africa

Qualification is the key to economic development and social participation - many African countries have a lot of catching up to do, especially in vocational education and training.

Elke Büdenbender takes over patronage

Political support for the VDMA's "Skilled Workers for Africa" initiative

VDMA in conversation with Elke Büdenbender

Opportunities and challenges on the African continent - training and education create perspectives

Pump up the Chance for Africa

"German Entrepreneur Award for Development" of the Carl Duisberg Society for HAWE training project in Botswana

Digital Platform "Mobile Learning in Smart Factories

Making skilled workers fit for digitalized value chains - self-directed and efficient learning with innovative tools

Covid-19 consequences for German companies in sub-Saharan Africa

The Corona crisis is affecting the economy in the VDMA project countries Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria - German companies nevertheless remain confident

Quantum Leaps in Mechanical Engineering: Focus on Quantum Computing

Exclusively for VDMA members, on the morning of May 19, 2021, the VDMA will host the first web info day in the series "Quantum Leaps in Mechanical Engineering" with a focus on quantum computing. The organizers are the Photonics Forum, the Baden-Württemberg State Association and the Competence Center Future Business.

Transferring trend personnel topics into practice

The central working group on personnel takes up current topics of personnel work and makes them transferable for the practice of our members.

"Minister Heil overshoots the mark"

The Federal Minister of Labor overshoots the mark with his bill. The election and work of works councils is one thing; it is quite another to attach superfluous demands to it.

Survey in progress on employee training

Employee training is essential to keep pace with structural change, transformations in the economy and the challenges currently posed by the Covid pandemic.

VDMA Initiative Skilled Workers for Africa Organises First ERFA Web-workshop on Kenya Partnerships

The Kenya Experience-Exchange Workshop took place on March 17th, 2021. The workshop which brought stakeholders - drawn from the German and Kenyan industry, and civil society organisations (CSOs) - together on one platform to brainstorm on strategies for enhancing the quality of food production in Kenya.

Enactus invites to a digital career fair

On April 22, 2021, Enactus invites to the Future Campus with the topic "Shaping Workspace for #NextGenLeaders"

Participation of SMEs in university cooperation: Exploiting potentials

As part of the VDMA initiative "Maschinenhaus - Platform for Innovative Teaching", we cordially invite you to our next digital event on 6.05.2021.

VDMA positions on science policy

The VDMA contributes to political discussions, engages in dialogue with policymakers and participates in public hearings and events on the topic of higher education and science policy.

15 Years of Bologna Reform - Quo vadis Engineering Education?

The universities "can" do Bologna. Study shows lack of practical experience of many graduates.

Petition calls for federal program to sustainably ensure good air quality in Germany's schools

The petition is supported by the VDMA's General Air Technology Association. The deadline for signing the petition is 15 April.

Mediation service of the Landesverband Mitte

At this point we would like to draw your attention once again to the use of the mediation service, which is attached to this article as a pdf download and regularly updated.

Collective bargaining agreement is a wager on the future

The wage agreement in the metal and electrical industry is based on optimistic assumptions, it is a bond on the future. A longer term until the end of 2022 would have been better.

People as actors - shaping change together

The transformation to networked production can only be shaped sustainably if we work together. In doing so, it is important to take natural concerns and resistance seriously.

Welcome to the VUCA world – more structure and success with agility

The world is becoming increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambivalent (VUCA). What mindset and methods you can use to cope with this and position your company accordingly.

Innovative Learning Tools for Qualification 4.0 - Good Practices for Success

Digitization and networking are changing our industry, society and increasingly also the working world. Industry 4.0 results in changed requirements for the qualifications of employees and thus new tools to support learning in further education.

"Training premium alone does not create more training places".

The expansion of the training premium is an encouraging signal for more companies to train many young people despite the Corona pandemic. The VDMA points out that vocational orientation in schools and career guidance by employment agencies in particular should be intensified in order to strengthen vocational training.

To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Education & Modern Work

"We need a mandatory subject on technology in schools and good career guidance from an early stage."

Author: Hartmut Rauen, VDMA Deputy Executive Director

Auf den Punkt Zahl Education & Modern Work


Percent of HR managers

from VDMA member companies currently see staff shortages among skilled workers.

Source: VDMA Survey 2021

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Bildung & modernes Arbeiten

Methodogical approach to vision
Purpose development in practice
  • Why is "Purpose" so important? Because it offers orientation and leads to a sense of focus.
  • Employees should be involved in developing the meaning and purpose of a company
  • Methodical approaches lead to success: "5 x Why", Golden Circle by Simon Sinek and the 4P method

VDMA Focus topics

VDMA Focus topics

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Made ING Germany

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Climate-Neutral Production

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Other VDMA Services
Fit for the future - advanced training courses at the Institute for Mechanical Engineering
Being the VDMA's training academy, we support you in developing new competencies. Contact us - we will gladly advise you!
Personal consultation on all aspects of labor law
The VDMA Legal Department provides its members with a continually updated overview of the decisions and legal developments relevant to businesses and HR managers.
Guide to action for recruiting young talent
Companies today need to recruit young apprentices at an early stage. The new VDMA "Handlungsleitfaden Nachwuchswerbung" (Guide to action for recruiting young talent) demonstrates how this is possible.
Studies & Surveys
The VDMA regularly publishes studies and surveys on engineering studies and derives suitable positions and statements from them.
Talent machine - the young talent portal for the mechanical engineering industry
Portal with news, info, internship job exchange and Best Practices for educational and personnel managers
Our services for members, universities & the media
VDMA maintains a diverse range of services and advice for its member companies, but also for universities and media representatives in the field of science policy and engineering studies. Here is an overview of our services for these three groups.


Facts and figures: Education and workforce in mechanical engineering
In our theme publications, you will find facts, figures and data related to vocational training, engineering courses, skilled workers, mechanical engineers and women in mechanical engineering.
Fit for the future - advanced training courses at the Institute for Mechanical Engineering
Being the VDMA's training academy, we support you in developing new competencies. Contact us - we will gladly advise you!
Fit for the future - advanced training courses at the Institute for Mechanical Engineering
Being the VDMA's training academy, we support you in developing new competencies. Contact us - we will gladly advise you!
Fit for the future - advanced training courses at the Institute for Mechanical Engineering
Being the VDMA's training academy, we support you in developing new competencies. Contact us - we will gladly advise you!


Education & Modern Working Committee
The VDMA Education Committee is the authoritative body for networking and exchange among VDMA member companies on education topics, as well as for monitoring and steering VDMA activities in this area.


Thomas Koch

Benteler Deutschland GmbH


Friedrich, Jörg Dr.

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