As of March 31, 2015, the voestalpine Group had 43,164 employees (excl. apprentices and temporary employees). This corresponds to an decrease of 106 persons (–0.2%) compared to the headcount on March 31, 2014. In addition, there are 1,407 apprentices and 3,879 leased employees, which adds up to a total of 47,418 FTEs (full-time equivalents). This represents an overall decline in headcount compared to the previous year of 0.1% (–67 FTEs).
The number of temporary employees rose in a year-to-year comparison by 4.1% or 151 employees.
Due to the increasing internationalization of the company in recent years, 52.4% of voestalpine’s core employees (22,639 persons) are now employed at international Group sites, i.e., outside of Austria in Europe and overseas.
As of the end of the business year, the voestalpine Group was training 1,407 apprentices (64.6% of whom were being trained at Austrian companies and 35.4% at international sites). At plus two, the number of apprentices remained practically unchanged compared to the previous year.
Employee shareholding scheme
Currently, all employees in Austria and Group employees in Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Italy are integrated into the employee shareholding scheme, which has been gradually expanded ever since its launch in 2001. The circle of employees from international Group companies participating in this model was again widened in the business year 2014/15. Concurrently, the stake of the Austrian Group employees was increased by around 1.2% within the scope of the collective bargaining negotiations in the fall of 2014, which will become effective as of the beginning of the business year 2015/16.
As of March 31, 2015, a total of 23,600 employees have a stake in voestalpine AG through the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung; they hold about 21.6 million shares, which represent 12.5% of the company’s share capital (previous year: 13.0%) due to the general bundling of voting rights. Thus, the Mitarbeiterstiftung is one of the largest core shareholders of voestalpine AG. About 1.9 million “private shares” owned by current and former employees (this corresponds to an additional 1.1% of the voting shares) are also managed by the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung. Thus, as of March 31, 2015, 13.6% of voestalpine AG’s share capital (previous year: 14.0%) is owned by employees.
The Stahlstiftung (Steel Foundation) in Austria
The Stahlstiftung, which was established in 1987, provides former employees of voestalpine from almost all of the Austrian Group companies as well as employees from a number of companies outside the Group with the opportunity to take up to four years to complete training and continuing education courses to upgrade their skills or to start a new career path. This institution significantly mitigates the social consequences of lay-offs and the participants receive the best possible assistance in their search for a new job. In the business year 2014/15, more than 83% of the participants who were looking for work were able to find a new job with the help of the Stahlstiftung despite the difficult situation on the labor market.
As of the end of the business year, a total of 427 persons were being assisted by the Stahlstiftung, of whom 62.1% were participants from companies not belonging to the voestalpine Group. The total number of Stahlstiftung active members in the business year 2014/15 was 730, 6.0% below the previous year’s figure (777 persons).
Focus of HR activities
The voestalpine Group was represented at a number of career fairs in the past business year. The focus was on recruiting graduates of technical and scientific programs. voestalpine teams from technology fields and HR introduced the Group not only at the International Student’s Day of Metallurgy in Clausthal, Germany, but also at national student fairs throughout Austria and Germany as an attractive employer for entry-level employees. For the first time, voestalpine had a presence at Chinese Talent Days in Cologne, a German-Chinese career fair, and at the Georgia Tech Career Fair in Atlanta, Georgia, in the USA.
At the same time, the international roll-out of the Group’s uniform job application management system continued. Besides Group companies in Austria and Germany, now those in Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada are also using this system.
Apprentices and young skilled workers
In 2014, voestalpine received a gold medal and the award “Best of Europe” (the best of all participants) at “EuroSkills,” the largest European skills competition, which took place in Lille, France, on behalf of Oliver Anibas, a young skilled worker trained in Linz. By winning at the Austrian state championships, three young skilled workers qualified for the “WorldSkills 2015” competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
These successes confirm the high quality of the training in the voestalpine Group. The company invests about EUR 70,000 into the comprehensive and very practice-oriented training per apprentice.
The voestalpine online channels (apprentice website, Facebook, and Instagram) are being used increasingly by the young apprentices.
On November 4, 2014, 340 apprentices from Austria and Germany met at the Group’s main site in Linz for the second voestalpine Group Apprentice Day; in addition to being able to meet and network with their colleagues, the apprentices also had the opportunity to direct questions to the Management Board during a panel discussion.
Development of executives
In the business year 2014/15, 199 participants from 24 countries took part in the “value:program,” the Group-wide management training and development program. Almost half of the participants were from international Group companies.