The German Gas and Water Association’s Approach to Attract Students
Proceedings Publication Date
Stephan Tolkmitt

The labor market situation in Germany is undergoing a dramatic change. The trigger for this is the special demographic situation. The age distribution in Germany is characterized by a very strong group of people known as the baby boomers. This group represents the majority of employees in many companies, in particular companies of energy and water supply. Due to the imminent departure of this group, the generation replacement must be implemented in german companies at an unprecedented speed. The challenge is to recruit sufficient compensation for the rapidly shrinking workforces - facing an intensifying competition over people, talents and attention of students from relevant technical courses.

It is all about inspiring young people as early as possible for the energy and water industry. The pure information is not sufficient any more. Besides: Young people know about their value and expect being offered rather than offering. The DVGW makes a contribution to safeguard young academics for its member companies by establishing and supervising its regional university groups at universities with sector-related courses. Currently, there are 17 university groups with almost 300 students in the DVGW network. The university groups are financially and organisationally supported by the DVGW. The objective of this work is to network the students within the industry already at this stage of education. This is also supported by the introduction of a "Young Professional Program" whose core element is mentoring, in which an established personality from the circle of DVGW members accompanies the students in the final phase of their studies and their first months of employment.

Only if sufficiently well-qualified and experienced professionals are prepared and willing to invest their knowledge and experience in the formulation of technical standards, we can maintain the high quality level in the German energy and water supply.