Labour shortage – tomorrow’s challenge
A shortage of qualified labour and too few young people choosing vocational education are challenges facing many industries in Denmark. At the same time, many employees from Eastern Europe are moving home again because conditions are improving in their own countries, which further exasperates the labour shortage. As a subcontractor responsible for many different processes and with employees with many different skills, education and skill development are important focus areas for us here at Hosta Industries. Technology and automation get us only part way there – talented staff is what ensures high quality and good solutions for the customer. But how can we act?
Labour and skill development on the agenda
Labour and skill development are already on the political agenda, which through a tripartite agreement has resulted in better opportunities for companies to enrol their employees in classes and a boost in the quality of in-service training.
At Hosta Industries, skill development is a strategic focus area that allows us to retain staff and ensure qualified labour that can satisfy customers’ high quality demands. Here we have developed a good and fruitful working relationship with both the municipality and the employment centre. Our focus is on maintaining in-house quality skills to raise the bar and make it easy for our customers to choose us as their stable subcontractor.
With newly elected regional and municipal political representatives, it will be interesting to see what framework they will put in place for ensuring good cooperation on qualified labour and thus our ability to compete.
Production brought home – new opportunities
Labour shortage is not only a challenge in Denmark, but also abroad. This makes outsourcing to, e.g. Eastern Europe less profitable than in the past. We are finding that Danish manufacturers more and more are moving their production back to Denmark. This entails not just problems, but also new opportunities.
A good example is a new customer who was facing challenges with the quality and delivery reliability offered by their supplier in Eastern Europe. The customer wanted to increase quality and achieve stable deliveries. At first, we could not compete in terms of price, but after a thorough review of the products’ components and some research into automation possibilities, we were able to match the customer’s expectations – in terms of quality, delivery reliability and price. The customer then got the opportunity to offer the products to a large auto manufacturer, our deliveries were tested and approved in both Germany and Japan, and now the customer has entered into a unique partnership where quality and safety are the top priorities.
Knowledge partnerships create value – also in the long term
It is important that even closer relationships be developed in the future between the business community and technical schools, universities and secondary schools. In September, we worked with AAU Racing on an arrangement for staff, students from a long list of educational institutions, and representatives from the municipality, the Confederation of Danish Industries and others. Focus was on cooperation and dialogue with a view to forging even closer ties.
Additionally, we have established partnerships with UCN, AAU and other educational institutions on, e.g. internship periods and joint projects. It is our experience that this creates tremendous value, both for us and for students. The next step is to focus even more on the cooperation with secondary schools, so we can ensure qualified labour over the long term and help to highlight the many interesting opportunities that exist in vocational education.
Many new things to come in 2018
The new year holds in store not only many new and exciting initiatives in production, but also in relation to our image. Here is a sneak preview – we look forward to revealing more in early 2018.
With these words, I wish you all a very joyous holiday season!