National dissemination meetings start

The first national dissemination meeting was held in Berlin on the 29th January under the theme “Internationalisation strategies for SME thru mobility projects”.

Local representatives of chamber of crafts, Berlin Partner Network and SMEs met for networking and how to use the advantages of mobility programmes in order to better qualify their staff and to attract European qualified workforce.

Companies and former trainees shared the added value mobility programmes brought to their life and the first preliminary results of the Mob G.A.E. research raised the public interest.

In the present context of lack of qualified workforce in Germany and high youth unemployment rate in E.U. the seminar was for many a starting point for planning new strategies and projects to internationalize their companies. The interest is high, because Germany’s skilled worker shortage is growing and the most recent report shows that nearly 500,000 jobs in Germany are open.

The federal government is looking for solutions to the lack of professionals in Germany and many bilateral programmes with South European countries have been created in the last couple of years.

Companies feel though, that not everything can be left in the hands of government and they are taking initiative in their own hands, because professions like mechatronics, electronics, manufacturing, logistics, health and trade could use more people. SME’s see a possibility of attracting skilled workforce to Berlin by using programmes like Erasmus+.

Very discussed was also the necessity of doing a better matching between the needs of employers and the candidates funded within mobility projects. Often the companies offer internship opportunities but the participants do not have the required profile, so that a possible employment offer afterwards is hardly possible.

Companies see also very critically the fact that since 2014 so many restrictions were set for graduates within Erasmus +. They see in this group the biggest potential for getting skilled workers and this seems to be hindered by the new programme.

Despite the challenges new project ideas were born like training for staff from traditional bookshops in UK or how to link all relevant mobility actors in order to bring to Berlin the required skilled workers.