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Here’s How Bosch is Focused on the Future of Work

Don Schaefer, Specialist, Social Media, Consumer Technology Association

Technological advances are dramatically changing the nature of jobs in the U.S. and around the world. Companies like Bosch are leading the way, ensuring their workforce is well-equipped to perform the growing number of high-skilled jobs that require digital literacy and knowledge in robotics, artificial intelligence, IoT and more, as well as highly sought-after soft skills.

We had a chance to chat with Charlie Ackerman, Sr. Vice President of Human Resources at Bosch to see how the storied engineering company is investing in the future of work:

Tell us a little about Bosch’s various workforce programs. How is Bosch preparing its employees for the future of work?

Rapid advancements in technology are requiring organizations to think differently about employee development, the types of skills needed to stay competitive, and how to foster growth of those skills within the current workforce.

Bosch has focused its attention toward workforce adaptability and a learning culture. The digital fitness of every associate is key, and we expect all associates to “connect and learn.” That is, we expect all associates to rapidly expand their networks and learning capabilities through adoption of the latest technology. These include apprenticeships, continuing education and on-the-job training programs intended to both enhance skills and provide opportunities for associates to learn new skills. We also offer several programs designed to improve the soft skills of employees, such as communication and problem solving.

These opportunities all speak to our broader efforts to strike a balance among three foundational elements of workforce success: the work, the worker and the workplace. These elements must mature at a balanced rate for continued excellence and maintaining a competitive advantage.

Bosch recently pledged to create thousands of new education, training and upskilling opportunities as a part of the current administration’s Pledge to America’s Workers. Why did Bosch feel it was important to participate in such a significant way?

Bosch has long recognized that people matter, and our investment in people enables our future growth.

There are two solutions to scale up your workforce: You can build talent or you can buy talent. Under the current labor economics and forecast, the demand for critical talent is drastically outpacing supply. For example, unemployment for critical high-tech talent like software developers is at 0%. Therefore, organizations must do more to build talent.

At Bosch, we’re accelerating and broadening our efforts in people development strategies, which are driving our efforts to build talent and reskill the workforce. Some of the elements of this program include:

  • Adding apprenticeship programs  to critical skills areas like software development for both internal and external applicants

  • Increasing our internship and co-op programs

  • Expanding our Bosch learning culture and training opportunities

  • Growing our strategic talent pipeline with STEM initiatives at the high school level through involvement in programs like FIRST Robotics

  • Partnering with universities and technical colleges on curriculum and projects 

These efforts are instrumental in developing our existing workforce while also building our long-term talent pipeline.

Why is it important for tech companies to invest in the future of work in the U.S.?

Simply put, a growing workforce enables a growing economy.

We are currently living in a global knowledge-based economy, and the United States is experiencing an influx of innovation, technical advancement and digital transformation across a multitude of industries.

People are at the center of this knowledge-based economy and that means we must enable workers to thrive by maintaining a balance between the work, the worker and the workplace.

For example, manufacturing today isn’t what it was 20 years ago. Manufacturing facilities today are bright, clean and filled with state-of-the-art technology; they require highly skilled workers; and the work is very different from what it used to be. And as more and more facilities incorporate Industry 4.0 or Connected Industry, there is even more demand for skilled associates.

Everyone deserves to succeed in this new economy. And with our efforts to build talent and train the next generation of leaders, we hope to provide individuals with the knowledge, tools and resources to do so.

Learn more about the Future of Work from CTA.