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Lack of IT experts and project managers in middle-sized companies

Pironet NDH starts its own further education initiative, "Care for Competence"

(PresseBox) (Köln, ) To counteract the lack of qualified IT professionals, Pironet NDH has introduced, in collaboration with the apo-akademie, a staff development project of its own: "Care for Competence". With this project the technology supplier and IT service provider is looking to prepare its employees for careers in project management and future management positions. The further education is based on a teaching model developed by the Fraunhofer Society, in cooperation with employer and employee associations, and is designed to take into account the special requirements of the IT sector.

In the field of IT further education, Pironet NDH is one of the first private-sector companies nationwide to promote and finance on such a scale a staff development concept based on real IT projects. 15 employees are already involved: since the beginning of March, they have been working towards the "Operative Professional" qualification.

"Medium-sized companies in particular suffer from a lack of new blood, for two reasons. Firstly, external applicants often fail to fulfil the special requirements of the IT industry. Secondly, large-scale companies are often preferred as employers," says Andreas Ludl, Legal & Personnel Director at Pironet NDH, regretfully. "We are therefore taking the matter into our own hands and supporting and encouraging our employees, not just in purely professional terms but also with regard to them taking on leadership functions and management tasks.”

18 months' coaching for managers of the future

The Pironet NDH plans include not just modern management methods and techniques but also tools for modern project and process controlling. "Coaching on the job" is the main focus of the 18 month-long program. Besides preparatory, action-oriented workshops, learning process supervisors accompany the participants through real projects in their day-to-day work. The final "Operative Professional" examination is carried out by the IHK.

"We have seen in the last years, particularly in the IT sector, that conventional seminars fail to meet the requirements of business practices", explains Dr. Thomas Klemme, managing shareholder of the apo-akademie, with regard to the training concept. "New certifications, quality tools and project management methods render traditional training programs obsolete at an ever faster rate. However, with heavily theory-based crash courses, many graduates subsequently come up short when it comes to real projects." In contrast to the usual further education seminars, students should therefore bring their new know-how directly to bear in current projects and consolidate it in practical terms, with the help of experienced professionals.

The implications of demography for middle-sized companies

The long-term goal of Pironet NDH is to remain attractive for its employees, by virtue of the "Care for Competence" staff development program: "We are not only reacting to the improving economic situation and the demand for newly-qualified employees that this implies.

We also want to prepare ourselves now for the consequences of demographic change," says Andreas Ludl. Sustainable and attractive staff development is a key aspect of this. "We are competing with large-scale companies and groups, and intend to set out our stall with a state-of-the-art further education program".