As of March 31, 2016, the voestalpine Group had 45,046 employees (excl. apprentices and temporary employees). This corresponds to an increase of 1,882 persons (+4.4%) compared to the headcount on March 31, 2015. In addition, there are 1,377 apprentices and 3,389 leased employees, which adds up to a total of 48,367 FTEs. This represents a rise in headcount of 2.0% (or 949 FTEs) compared to the previous year.
The number of temporary employees rose in a year-to-year comparison by 12.6% (from 3,879 to 3,389 FTEs).
Due to the increasing internationalization of the Group in recent years, 51.7% of voestalpine’s employees (23,286 persons) are now employed at international Group sites, i.e., outside of Austria in Europe and overseas, while 21,760 employees are working at Group companies in Austria.
As of the end of the business year, the voestalpine Group was training 1,377 apprentices (62.4% of whom were being trained at Austrian companies and 37.6% at international sites). Compared to the previous year, the number of apprentices has decreased by 30 persons or 2.2%.
Employee participation plan
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 participation plan, which has been gradually expanded ever since its launch in 2001. The circle of employees from the Group’s international locations participating in this model was again widened in the business year 2015/16.
As of March 31, 2016, roughly 24,100 employees have a stake in voestalpine AG through the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung; they hold about 23.3 million shares, which represent 13.4% of the company’s share capital due to the general bundling of voting rights (previous year: 12.5% Therefore, the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung is one of the largest 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, 2016, 14.5% of voestalpine AG’s share capital (previous year: 13.6%) 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 2015/16, 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 Austrian labor market.
As of the end of the business year, a total of 462 persons were being assisted by the Stahlstiftung, of whom 51.1% were participants from companies not belonging to the voestalpine Group. The total number of Stahlstiftung active members in the business year 2015/16 was 784, 7.4% above the previous year’s figure (730 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 staff from technology fields and HR presented the Group at national student fairs as an attractive employer for entry-level employees. In accordance with the Group’s globalization strategy, voestalpine’s presence at career fairs, especially international ones, was expanded; furthermore, voestalpine was a sponsor at International Student’s Day of Metallurgy in Aachen, Germany, in 2015. More than 200 students from 15 European universities took part in this three-day event. voestalpine also took advantage of the German-Chinese career fair Chinese Talent Days in Cologne and the GT Career Fair in Atlanta to present itself to Asian and American young talent as an international technology and capital goods Group with attractive career opportunities. At the same time, the international roll-out of the voestalpine job application management system continued, and, besides Austria and Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, England, the USA and Canada, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Australia are now also using the system. A number of other countries will shortly be implementing this Group-wide instrument.
Awards for being an attractive employer
For the sixth consecutive time, voestalpine AG won the Austrian BEST RECRUITER prize in the category iron/metal industry and received the “Golden Seal” award. More than 500 Austrian companies were tested according to various criteria, such as career website, social media, online job ads, and how job applications are handled. In the trendence Graduate Barometer 2016, the largest employer study among Austrian students, voestalpine was ranked number 1 (2015: number 4) among budding engineers and computer scientists. In the area of business administration, the Group was ranked at an excellent number 6 (2015: number 7). In this study, more than 7,700 Austrian students majoring in business administration, IT, and engineering at 32 institutions of higher learning were questioned about their career plans and their employers of choice.
Apprentices and young skilled workers
At the WorldSkills 2015 competition in Sao Paolo, Brazil, the world championship of young skilled workers, the three participants from the voestalpine Steel Divison came home without one of the top prizes, however, because of their outstanding performance, they received a “Medaillon for Excellence.”
The company invests about EUR 70,000 in the comprehensive three- or four-year training per apprentice. In order to communicate with this important target group even more efficiently and directly than before, the voestalpine website for apprentices was redesigned, and social media activities on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Watchado, and Instagram were intensified.
In 2015, the Group company Böhler Edelstahl GmbH received the State prize “Best training companies – Fit for Future” as one of the three best training companies in Austria in the category “large-scale enterprises.”
In October 2015, around 380 apprentices from Austria and Germany came together at the third voestalpine Group Apprentice Day in Linz, which provided the skilled workers of tomorrow and their trainers with a diverse program that enabled them to get to know each other and the company better.
The video contest for apprentices, which was conducted in the fall of 2014, was nominated for the German Award for Online Communication in the category “Recruiting Campaign and Employer Branding“ and achieved a placement among the top five.
The impressive number of young people who complete their apprenticeships confirms that the training costs are a worthwhile investment: 96.6% of the apprentices who took their final examination in the last business year passed. Of the Austrian graduates, 67.6% passed their final examination with the grade “good” or “excellent.”
For the apprenticeship year beginning in 2016/17, around 400 new apprenticeship positions are available in Austria and Germany alone. Currently, training for 50 vocational occupations is being offered at 39 sites. In the last business year, many schoolchildren and their parents took advantage of the “open house days” at a number of sites in order to personally gather information about training opportunities.
Development of executives
In the business year 2015/16, 228 participants from 31 countries took part in various training courses for executives (value:program) organized by the Group. The percentage of women was 15.4%. The value:program provides target group-specific training and continuing education programs for all management levels from junior management to mid-management and senior and top management. In addition to internal issues, focal points include topics such as strategy, change management, and leadership. In the business year 2015/16 alone, three new development programs were created. The requirements are met with a combination of face-to-face training and online course units.
Other development programs
Specific development programs were created or refined at the Group level for selected functions and regions to enhance competency as needed; some examples are the Purchasing Power Academy, the HR Academy, and the China Young Professional Training Program.
The further development portfolio for employees contains numerous other programs and training offerings at the divisional and business unit level.
Educational collaborations with universities
Each year, voestalpine enables students from Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia/USA) to participate in a ten-week internship. In exchange, students of the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, receive a one-year scholarship to Emory University.
On another educational track, students in the international MBA program “ACT – Austria, Canada, Taiwan,” a joint study program of the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, the University of Victoria, Canada, and the National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung in Taiwan, take part in project work lasting several weeks at the Group’s Linz location.
There are numerous ongoing collaboration projects with the University of Mining and Metallurgy in Leoben, Austria. They range from sponsoring commitments to create enthusiasm in young people about studying at the University of Mining and Metallurgy to voestalpine talks, a cooperative event with all student representatives, and participation in the student fair “teconomy.” Moreover, numerous voestalpine companies provide students with the opportunity to undertake internships or work on scientific papers in collaboration with the company. Currently, university students are working on around 115 theses and 90 dissertations in the voestalpine Group.