Project : “Spanish engineers”
In 2012, Wirtschaftsförderung Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg planned a cooperative project to recruit Spanish engineers looking for jobs.
Recruitment was undertaken jointly with Baden-Württemberg International, the Employment Agency and the SüdwestMetall employers’ association, with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Chamber of Trade, the German Trade Unions Congress and the IG Metall trade union as further partners.
This was the start of the “Skills Alliance in the Winner Region”, which was also the title of the project.
The Baden-Württemberg Department of Economy and Finance supported the pilot project.
To put companies in the region who had not been able to fill their vacant engineering posts from the national job market in contact with Spanish applicants.
At this point in time there were many university graduates and engineers in Spain looking for work.
The recruitment drive was undertaken in agreement with the Spanish Embassy in Berlin.
In addition to their professional qualification, candidates were also required to have basic skills in spoken and written German.
In accordance with the profile specifications provided by companies in the Schwarzwald – Baar – Heuberg region, the potential candidates were recruited in Spain via local employment agencies and the International Placement Service (ZAV)/ EURES consultancy services.
After a selection procedure agreed in advance with the potential employers, about 100 Spanish engineers arrived in Villingen-Schwenningen for a two day visit (25 – 27 June 2012).
They were introduced to the 24 local companies participating in the project at a central event, where they met company representatives and were invited for interviews.
Recruitment event, 25-27 June 2012:
After an emotional welcoming ceremony, candidates and entrepreneurs met in the Tonhalle in Villingen to make first contacts and arrange interviews.
The participating companies had set up stands where the job applicants could get information about other companies between their formal interviews. The Spanish candidates made intensive use of this “marketplace”.
The event was accompanied by a comprehensive leisure programme with music, a Black Forest dance display, eating, singing, a city tour and other activities.
Feedback and quotes on the recruitment event of 25 – 27 June 2012:
“The feedback we’ve had up till now from companies and applicants is all positive“ < Heinz-Rudi Link, Managing Director, Wirtschaftsförderung Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg.
“They approached the companies with great enthusiasm, commitment, courage and drive” < Erika Faust, Director of the Federal Employment Agency, Villingen-Schwenningen and Rottweil.
Ingrid Weiss, from the company DDM Hopt & Schuler, Rottweil, summed up: “In addition to three planned and four spontaneous job interviews, we made 30 further contacts at the stand, and 10 people gave us their CV. Before the event, we were already impressed by the number of applications. Some of the candidates could speak very good German; others had at least a basic knowledge. We’ll offer two candidates the opportunity of coming to our firm for a week to see how we operate.”
Alexander Metz, HR Officer at BDT Media Automation GmbH in Rottweil, was pleased with the open, positive attitude of the candidates, as well as their high standard of education.
His company had advertised three job opportunities, and gave 14 interviews to Spanish candidates at the event (5 more than planned). “We had a very good response and will make our final decisions within the next two months.”
Thomas Albiez, Managing Director of the Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg Chamber of Industry and Commerce, emphasized once again the urgency of the skills issue: “According to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s Skills Monitor, the lack of qualified personnel could mean 14,000 unfilled vacancies by 2020.” Thomas Albiez praised the “Skills Alliance in the Winner Region” project and thanked all those who had been involved.
“I think there are many opportunities for engineers in Germany at the present time. I see this as a good chance for me, and it would be a very interesting experience.” < Paula Bernedo Juez, Spanish engineer.
“I’m a civil engineer. I think the talks with the companies went well. I did have a job in Spain after I graduated, but I’ve been unemployed for more than a year, and now I’m hoping to find work in Germany.“ < David Palomares Hernandez, Spanish engineer
“The project has been worth it,” Rolf Böning, Managing Director of the regional Südwestmetall employers’ association in Schwarzwald-Hegau.
- 24 companies participated, announcing vacancies for 59 engineers in advance.
- 100 Spanish engineers came to Germany for the event.
- 19 employment contracts were signed.
Skills Alliance regional dispatch (German)