Tesla seeks to overcome recruitment problems at German plant with increased training

BERLIN — Tesla is increasing the training of skilled workers for its new European factory after it was reported that the electric-car maker is struggling to find employees.

The company plans to train around 150 apprentices in approximately 10 industrial and technical professions to work in its factory under construction near Berlin, according to the East Brandenburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK).

The news was reported in the local Berlin paper Berliner Zeitung.

In an email to Automotive News Europe, the IHK confirmed that Tesla will offer 10 apprenticeships this year. Six are for warehouse logistics and four to train as IT experts, specializing in systems integration. The training program is set to begin as early as this year, according to the IHK.

German regulations require companies to submit training contracts to the IHK for checks on matters such as trainers’ qualifications, suitable workplaces, vacation entitlement and remuneration.

Despite delays and the lack of final approvals guaranteeing the factory’s opening, Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs Joerg Steinbach said he expects production to start this year.

“I have hopes that the first car to roll off the production line will have the year of birth 2021,” Steinbach told the Handelsblatt newspaper on Monday.

Tesla is finding the task of recruiting workers for the factory more difficult than expected, Automobilwoche, a German language sister publication of Automotive News Europe, reported in December. Negative media reports about “rude manners” and Tesla’s “hire-and-fire” system could be putting off potential candidates, people familiar with Tesla’s recruitment efforts told Automobilwoche.

In June, Tobias Marmann, recruitment lead for the Berlin plant, posted two training openings as well as a dual bachelor’s degree for logistics, where applicants in the four-year program would learn about tasks related to the organization and management of material flow.

The training position for an IT system integration specialist is up on Tesla’s jobs page, with a start date of September 2021. Another training position for a warehouse logistics specialist is also posted on Tesla’s website, beginning in September and running for three years.

Tesla’s careers page also lists four training positions in various fields in the German cities Hamburg, Stuttgart and Nuremberg.

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