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Company News, 2006-07-06, 09:01 AM

Program Future: ThyssenKrupp Steel rejuvenates workforce by retention of 1.000 finished apprentices - working time cuts by one hour

ThyssenKrupp Steel AG is to cut the working time of its tariff employees from 35 to 34 hours a week. This will make a significant contribution to the necessary rejuvenation of the workforce. Over the full term of the agreement between 2006 and 2013, 500 new jobs will be created and a total of 1,000 additional finished apprentices will be retained. The agreement was concluded between the company, the general works council, the union IG Metall and the employer association.

"This is the classic case of solidarity. By giving up an hour of working time, all employees are encouraging the recruitment of finished apprentices and supporting the employment of colleagues," said Dieter Kroll, HR Director of ThyssenKrupp Steel AG. "This collective agreement strikes a balance between the demographic trend and the company's medium-term personnel requirements."

Key points of the agreement:
・ Between October 1, 2006 and September 30, 2013 the regular weekly working time will be shortened by an hour. This will be achieved by means of six free days and a corresponding cut in pay.

・ The negative age structure brought about by the demographic trend will be improved by means of 500 partial retirement agreements, and know-how transfer between the generations will be secured by the retention of finished apprentices. The instrument of partial retirement allows young people to move into jobs in a targeted way.
"This agreement is part of our Program Future, to guarantee young people a sustained chance of a job," said Kroll. At present, ThyssenKrupp Steel has more employees than required by cost-optimized personnel planning. But this ratio will reverse in only a few years. From 2011 on, 500 to 600 employees will enter into regular retirement each year. "There is a risk of over-aging of the workforce and a dramatic loss of skills, knowledge and experience. Personnel needs will rise significantly," said Kroll. "The Program Future will counteract this."

Today, the average age of the core workforce is already 44. The ending of the statutory partial retirement scheme from 2009 and the government's raising of the retirement age will speed up this development. "If we don't act now, the average age in 2020 will be 55," said Kroll.

Other elements of the Program Future are targeted support for healthcare and professional development of employees of all age groups with knowledge transfer between "young and old". In addition, ThyssenKrupp Steel intends to make more use of the potential of its employees. "We will be investing more in the motivation and capabilities of the people in our company," explained Kroll.

This press release is also available on the internet at:

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