IMIG Austria: Knowledge sharing as a key principle against the shortage of skilled workers
IMIG Austria, with its location in Villach, is surrounded by numerous examples of successful small businesses and healthy medium-sized businesses. In between, there are also a few large companies, such as Infineon Technologie Austria AG, which collaborates with numerous suppliers and service providers in the region. This creates a huge economic benefit: in terms of employment, a new job at Infineon means three jobs in the region (Source: Institute for Industrial Science-IWI). These symbiotic effects of the economy will play an even bigger role in the future. Two of the most important resources for future success will be the well-educated person and the targeted handling of knowledge transfer.
Human Talent & Knowledge Sharing as a key principle
Fig. 1: Knowledge sharing as a key principle. Source: Shutterstock
The province of Carinthia in Austria, in particular, despite or even because of its good economic and economic development with the hurdle of a shortage of skilled workers. Companies of all sizes report difficulties in personnel searches, selection, and development. For a long time, there has been a struggle on the broad front for well-trained specialists from abroad. Carinthia is now also investing in an infrastructure to specifically invite specialists from Spain with German level B1 or higher to Carinthia and distribute them to the municipalities in order to offer the best socially compatible integration (Source: https: //www.ktn.gv .at / service / News? nid = 30182).
The skills shortage, however, requires a rethink that goes beyond these measures. Recruiting skilled workers from abroad worked for Germany in the 1960s, when the economy was still developing and changing. The digital revolution of this economy expects different solutions!
Approach: Knowledge Sharing through employer mergers
From the consulting, IMIG AG knows the trends, which are emerging especially in the IT sector. Increasingly more companies are dependent on short-term available workers who bring as much experience and the appropriate specializations. Since these often do not exist on the labor market and only large, stable companies can afford the long-term personnel development of a permanent workforce, many rely on freelancers. This fact is just right for Generation Y: Everyone already knows the digital nomads who accept orders from the camper without having to be present onsite at the company. Even if these freelancers are available as workers, this fact is practical for many companies, because they do not have to employ any staff, which they cannot easily dismantle, for example, after a temporarily limited project phase. At the same time, however, this trend also prevents the retention of good professionals to their own company and efficient work in well-developed teams, not to mention direct and personal exchanges. For many freelancers, the system also means social insecurity and lack of access to benefits, such as paid and targeted training and development, which are more likely to be enjoyed in a company in such a form. In addition, the freelancer must bear the social benefits costs themselves.
The solution of the future would be a modified system that transfers personnel leasing to companies and, as an employer pool allows employees to be shared by multiple companies. Both resources - human and knowledge - could be shared in this way, as well as the cost. This requires the following changes:
- Changed labor law, which favors the flexible employment of an employee at several companies.
- A rethinking by companies to recognize the sharing of their own knowledge as economic added value.
- Financial incentives by the state, so that companies deliberately build-up, educate and provide overcapacity to skilled workers, and make it available to the domestic economy.
- New training initiatives such as dual study programs that secure the next generation.
Benefits and challenges for companies and the (national) economy
The basic concept of employer mergers has already been tested in pilot projects, and the existing challenges are all solvable (source: https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000017859903/jobmarkt-betriebe-teilen-sich-mitarbeiter).
Even the competition problem of companies can be bypassed by appropriate associations: Thus, companies can associate with an employer merger in which there is no direct competitor with a similar product and beyond their employees' discretion. In the end, the added value clearly beats the disadvantages for all.
Especially for our location region Carinthia, this push in digitization would boost the economy and continue to favor cooperation between large and small entrepreneurs. It is a very important economic side effect that new content co-operation and mutual spiritual fertilization without competitive pressure are possible. IT companies will be especially pleased. The call is already loud for new initiatives that can be started in collaboration.
Consultant I IMIG Austria
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