Augsburg. "Generation Z" refers to the young adults who are currently completing their education and will soon start work. Around 90 participants from businesses and institutions based in the region wanted to meet this generation. A join event hosted by the Vocatium academy, the FOM business and management school in Munich and MAI Job, a project organised by Carbon Composites e.V. (CCeV), offered them the chance to do so.
The event kicked off with a speech by Professor Nicolai Scherle from FOM, who explained what makes "Generation Z" so unique and how this impacts on the interaction with these young people in a working environment. For example, the first generation of vocational trainees that has dealt with computers, the internet and smartphones all their lives is now joining the workforce. As digital natives, these young adults not only value a good work-life balance but also a high degree of flexibility at work. This includes aspects such as flexible working hours and the option of working from home as well as being offered a choice of options and diversity.
During the subsequent panel discussion, two Generation Z representatives, Peter Schwertschlager, the head of the Anna-Gymnasium upper secondary school in Augsburg, and Joachim Herfert, the head of vocational training at Airbus Helicopters, talked to Professor Scherle about how working environments can meet the needs of the new generation. However, they also mentioned how the particular skills and talents of these young adults could benefit employers.
Herfert shared some of his everyday experiences as a vocational trainer: "In my experience, young adults attach more importance to completing their vocational training locally. They do not necessarily expect to be taken on afterwards." When Herfert selects vocational trainees for Airbus, he takes not only the development of their grades over the past few years into account but also primarily their character and the social commitment demonstrated by the candidates. The vocational training manager says that modern management should build bridges between the generations and ensure "that young and old communicate with each other as equals". "In our company, this works very well."
At the end, the guests were also given the opportunity to visit the exhibition "Harter Stoff" ('Hard Stuff') about carbon, the material of the future. Just like they did during the earlier discussion, the company representatives showed a very high level of interest.
Within the scope of the MAI Job project, which is funded by Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the European Social Fund (ESF), Carbon Composites e.V. also intends to provide information on social issues in the context of vocational training. MAI Job project manager Katharina Lechler was therefore delighted by the lively interest in the "Generation Z" event: "This generation in particular shows an enormous interest in working with composites. What is even better is that the vocational training providers are also interested in these young people and in our industry sector."
Around 90 stakeholders from companies and institutions in the region took up the invitation issued by Vocatium, FOM and the MAI Job project and travelled to the Technologiezentrum Augsburg to learn more about "Generation Z".
Appropriately, the visitors of the "Generation Z" event about the future generation also toured the exhibition "Harter Stoff" ('Hard Stuff') about carbon, the material of the future.