Promoting young talents is an engine for the industry

A post by:     Karsten Jänicke
Executive Board Member
Last updated: 2023-11-27

The success of German industry is based on the expertise of its many employees. The extreme shortage of skilled workers is consequently an unprecedented threat to the entire economy. Therefore, I am surprised that we in Germany place so little emphasis on promoting young talents. After all, it can act as an engine for industry. To achieve this, however, politics and business need to make more efforts together - instead of just relying on short-term solutions.

Skills shortage slows down the industry

Specialist knowledge and manpower have always been the most important building blocks for a successful industry in Germany. And they are becoming increasingly scarce. Even if economic and industrial growth has lost momentum in recent years due to the current crises in the world, this will not permanently mitigate the impact of the shortage of skilled workers. Demographic change alone will present us with ever greater problems in the coming years. This is increasingly slowing down the economy - and preventing us from tackling the current challenges at full speed. 
This is a problem for the entire business location - but also one that directly affects many companies.

Promoting young talents: the often unused growth driver

Many want to combat the shortage of skilled workers. At a political level, many debates revolve around wages, working conditions and (urgently needed!) immigration. Companies, on the other hand, are running major employer branding campaigns, headhunters are looking for the best brains and HR departments are constantly being expanded. Surprisingly, the question of how we can train new skilled workers and how we can train and promote existing talent in companies is always neglected. 
There are no serious education initiatives from the federal and state governments, nor are many companies really actively involved in promoting young talent. Yet it is very clear in other areas: if we have too few raw materials, we need to develop more. Promoting young talents could therefore be an incredibly powerful driver of growth - and yet it often remains untapped.

Promoting young talents at RENOLIT

This expressly does not apply to RENOLIT. I can proudly say that we have made considerable efforts in recent years to expand training and actively promote talents within the company. And that was just the beginning: in the coming year, we will establish further measures and consistently drive forward the promotion of young talents. We have many ideas on how we can do this far beyond the supposed boundaries of the company - in cooperation with external partners and educational institutions. Because we know how important this topic is.

The battle for talents is in full swing

If RENOLIT is on the right track here, why am I writing this blog post? Because, of course, we are also feeling the enormous battle for talents. This is perfectly fine to a certain extent, but it becomes a problem if it is waged with unequal means in the long term. While we go to great lengths to promote young talents, others try to solve the lack of young talents with money and other incentives alone. However, this cannot be sustainable, as it neither creates new expertise nor helps the economy as a whole. At the same time, if the state neglects its duty to continuously expand and improve education, the problems will only get worse.

Joint offensive for more promotion of young talents

In my view, we therefore need a joint offensive to promote young talent in Germany. The federal government, federal states and industry must work better together. The state should finally lay the foundations for this: Better education for all. It is economic madness that education in Germany is still more dependent on social background than in almost any other OECD country. And the economy must take its share of responsibility and not only invest more in education and training and in promoting young talents - but also work better together. I will be presenting very specific proposals on this shortly.

Let's start the engine for promoting young talents!

Especially in difficult times, strong and competent specialists are more important than ever. We as a society must therefore significantly increase our efforts to promote young talents. At RENOLIT, we are on a very good path here - but this is far from enough for me. That's why I will continue to drive forward the issue of promoting young talent in the Executive Management Board and within the company with all my strength - and campaign for more attention to be paid to this issue at industry and political level.