Demographic Change

WACKER has been addressing demographic change intensively for many years. The average age of the Group’s workforce in 2012 was 42.0 (permanent staff). Employees at non-German sites are younger (average age: 40.0) than in Germany (42.6). The average age of executive staff was 52.9. In-house studies have shown that the percentage of employees over 50 in Germany will double between 2006 and 2017 – from 22 to 44 percent.

The age structure abroad varies greatly from region to region. Staff at Asian sites are comparatively young (average age: 34.3), while staff at US subsidiaries have an average age of 47.2. Age structure variations are not exclusive to WACKER. They reflect each continent’s and country’s age structure.

2012 Demographic Analysis of German and International Sites in 2012

Demographic Analysis of German and International Sites in 2012 (Liniendiagramm)

To maintain our long-term innovative and competitive strength and to acquire and retain highly qualified employees, we have formulated ten strategic goals. These are:

  1. Systematically promote health.
  2. Create corporate value through esteem for all age groups: introduce sweeping changes in our approach to aging with the involvement of managers and employees.
  3. Expect employees across all age groups to take up offers of vocational training and to show job flexibility, while providing conditions that encourage them to do so.
  4. Secure expertise for the future, and transfer knowledge in a systematic and binding manner.
  5. Develop instruments to manage and regulate the transition to retirement.
  6. Orientate compensation to levels of performance and expertise.
  7. Maintain and enhance WACKER’s attractiveness for employees.
  8. Intensify advertising and recruitment efforts aimed at professions critical to WACKER’s success.
  9. Pursue forward-looking strategies for in-house vocational training.
  10. Act as a corporate citizen by fostering scientific and technological interest in youth at an early age.

To achieve these goals, we have introduced a number of measures – ranging from employee health programs through to basic and advanced training. These are intended to maintain employees’ job flexibility. We are putting increased effort into acquiring talented and committed young staff. One example is the “PIng” project (a personnel-marketing strategy targeting engineers), intended to inform aspiring engineers of career opportunities at WACKER. It revolves around intensive contacts with universities, e.g. in the form of project-planning courses, site tours for students, opportunities for internships and providing possible topics for bachelor’s and master’s degree theses. WACKER also attends job fairs at universities.

WACKER concluded a new agreement with the employee council in 2012. Accordingly, employees will continue to have the option of entering phased early retirement. This measure is principally aimed at employees with a restricted range of employment activity and focuses on production sites. It is an important response to demographic change and provides improved employment perspectives to young employees.