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Keeping more foreign skilled workers in the region – How can this succeed?

High Franconian companies, directors of international master’s degree programs at Hof University of Applied Sciences and other representatives from society, politics and the university met at Hof University of Applied Sciences to exchange ideas about employment opportunities for foreign specialists and, in particular, graduates of Hof University of Applied Sciences in companies in the region.

District Administrator Dr. Oliver Bär on the occasion of the roundtable discussion on the topic of retaining skilled workers in the region; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

The idea for such an exchange had arisen in a conversation between District Administrator Dr. Oliver Bär and University President Professor Dr. Dr. h.c.. Jürgen Lehmann, as both are repeatedly confronted with the issue of a shortage of skilled workers at events organized by business associations. The reports of the economy stand thereby in a certain contradiction to the experiences, which the university makes yard regarding the occupation ways of its foreign students in international master courses of studies. On the basis of facts and figures concerning the internships of the foreign master students, Professor Dr. Dietmar Wolff, Vice President Teaching at Hof University of Applied Sciences, made clear:

Students have no problems finding jobs and are employed by many well-known companies throughout Germany – but very few students spend their internships with companies in the region. And this is despite the fact that Hof University of Applied Sciences feels particularly connected to the regional economy.”

Prof. Dr. Dietmar Wolff, Vice President Teaching

Following the lecture, a lively exchange sought the reasons for the facts and figures that were surprising to many: prestige and earning potential may specifically lure some students to large companies outside the region. But many graduates would also like to stay in the region if they had the opportunity. Cultural obstacles, the lack of housing and, in some cases, false expectations of job opportunities at local companies were mentioned, which also require a great deal of personal effort on the part of the companies to overcome

Companies that make this effort are rewarded with very inquisitive, motivated and loyal employees who – once they have arrived well – feel a long-term bond with the company.”

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann, University President

Many ideas emerged from the round of talks: Success stories of foreign graduates at companies in the region should be better marketed and used. In addition, checklists are to be drawn up for companies on what they should pay particular attention to in recruiting and in the induction process. And intercultural training courses, where encounters between young employees from companies and students should be possible, should also be offered in the future.

Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

Companies interested in further exchange on the topic can contact Prof. Dr. Dietmar Wolff. Anyone who is interested in publishing job advertisements or needs information on existing cooperation between companies in the region and Hof University of Applied Sciences is welcome to contact the Career Service at Hof University of Applied Sciences.

Johanna Kimler

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