Deploying an international, skilled labour force at ARTS in Germany
Many international workers dream of working in Germany, not least because it provides a superb way for them to develop their careers. Providing them with a chance to work in Germany represents an opportunity both for them and for German businesses. ARTS approached three international colleagues with questions about their experience.
German working environments value a high positive attitude to work, punctuality, and reliability above all. Indeed, the “Made in Germany” seal is recognised far beyond the country’s borders and, in 2017, was even ranked as the number one country of origin worldwide for recognition. Nevertheless, the cliché “Germans live to work” dies hard, leaving them with little free time, and little chance to enjoy their lives.
What lies behind the prejudice and clichés? What benefits does working in Germany offer, and what hurdles do foreign employees have to overcome, and how does ARTS succeed in providing support international workers? ARTS investigated these topics and asked three international aircraft mechanics, who are employed at ARTS, about their reasons for coming to Germany, as well as their wishes and goals.
The three colleagues form part of the 12-member Mobile Aircraft Maintenance Crew team (or MAMC for short) working on the A380 Door Modification Project. The team is responsible for exchanging, fitting, disassembling and re-fitting elements of all doors of the Airbus A380 aircraft in Dresden. Precise, reliable work under intense time pressure plays a major role, because an A380 can only spend a limited amount of time on the ground. “Nevertheless,” says Konrad Stefaniak “working in an international team is a very pleasant experience. We don’t have any issues with a lack of materials, and we don’t need to improvise like in Poland.” The two Polish aircraft mechanics, Konrad Kisiel and Konrad Stefaniak, have seen an opportunity to develop their careers in Germany and to work on new and interesting projects in the aviation and aerospace sector.
The three ARTS aircraft mechanics on the A380 Door Mod Project
“I decided to work in Germany because I wanted to learn something new. In Germany, I have the option of working in an international team and pursuing new and exciting challenges. This opportunity was not open to me in Poland,” says Konrad Stefaniak. His colleague added that “Employee morale and the interaction with our project team are both highly motivating factors. We get a lot of acknowledgement for our work.” Both of them see the chance to work in the aviation sector as dream come true. “You get the feeling that you are involved in something special.”
In fact, every worker has different motivations for coming to Germany. Antonio José Alcaide Gomez came to Germany, from Spain, in December 2016, because he saw the opportunity “to have a better life in Germany than I could have had in Spain, and to earn good money.” And he was not disappointed. He feels very comfortable in Germany, is treated with respect, and enjoys going to work. “It doesn’t matter all that much which country you are in. The atmosphere in the team and enjoying your job are much more important. However,” says Antonio, “in Germany there are always bureaucratic hurdles to overcome. Whenever you lift a finger, you have to fill out a form,” he complains. He says that there are forms for everything, and that things are dealt with more easily in Spain – so the German authorities should work on improving this aspect. Despite everything, however, Antonio has always had support from ARTS employees whenever he has had questions or problems.
A skills shortage leads to creative approaches in the business world
Highly qualified aircraft mechanics are not easy to find. There is also a similar shortage of expertise in the automotive, aviation, space, and shipbuilding industries. The skills shortage is, therefore, felt far beyond this sector. German businesses are increasingly complaining that they are unable to fill all the apprenticeship places that they are able to offer. Moreover, 1,098,000 open vacancies were recorded in Germany in 2017. The unemployment rate in Germany was 5.7% in 2017, equivalent to 2.38 million unemployed people, or roughly two unemployed candidates per vacancy. This is the lowest figure since German reunification.
The facts support the trend of looking outside Germany’s borders to find suitably qualified personnel and investing a great deal of energy in international recruitment. For many businesses, attracting and retaining talent for the company, in order to combat the skills shortage caused by demographics, will become more than just a statement of intent. In particular, because international workers as a whole are significantly younger than the German workforce, thereby combating the ageing of the German population, they are highly sought after in the labour market. Many German businesses have recognised this fact and offer their current and potential workers many benefits, including support with immigrating to Germany and dealing with the often-cited German bureaucracy.
ARTS, as a global expert in engineering and manufacturing services, engineering consultancy and HR services, already employs 14% of its workforce from other countries. This means that ARTS places a particular focus on recruiting international skilled labour, offering its international workforce help with applying for a Blue Card, supporting them in overcoming bureaucratic or linguistic hurdles, and helping them to find accommodation. Regular, aviation-specific training and language courses, as well as an extensive welcome package, are also offered. “We didn’t have to overcome any bureaucratic hurdles ourselves. Our colleagues at ARTS took care of just about everything, so that we could start work well prepared, with no problems, and get to work on the project immediately,” reported the colleagues when asked about their experiences.
Diversity management in German businesses
In addition to intensive international recruitment and tailored benefits for foreign employees, global businesses are increasingly concerned with the topic of diversity management, and have begun to restructure their organisations accordingly. This results in making it easier for international workers to begin work and integrate in their new organisations. Businesses are better aligned to welcome foreign labour, perhaps through a more cosmopolitan corporate structure, enabling internal and external communications in foreign languages, seeing cultural differences as an opportunity to implement new and innovative ideas in the organisation. Meanwhile, they may analyse their own structures and long-term needs, adapting the structures accordingly to be more attractive and better prepared for international workers.
Diversity management is a way for businesses to acquire the skills that they require to provide support for immigrants entering Germany and to address formal requirements, resulting in concrete processes to ensure the smooth integration of their international workforce.
Targeted diversity management enables foreign employees to integrate quickly into their new place of work
Working in Germany – diversity is part of ARTS’ strength
ARTS shows the way forward, living a culture of welcoming others into the business, and offering its future employees a package of benefits to make them feel good about their futures, enabling them to start their new lives in Germany smoothly.
The three workers on the MAMC project have not regretted coming to Germany, recommending their international colleagues who are considering working in Germany: “Don’t take too long thinking it over, and don’t be afraid of the challenges. Simply come here! Working in Germany is a great experience and highly rewarding.”
These are just three of the five hundred ARTS employees whose specialist expertise enriches the company. ARTS continues to seek growth and to look for more qualified, international resources for additional, exciting projects in Germany. If you dream of working in an international, high-tech business, with the chance to get involved and develop your career, apply to ARTS. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
If you’re interested in a job with ARTS, but still have unanswered questions – such as whether your professional qualifications will be recognised – you are welcome to contact our HR experts. We will be happy to assist you further.