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This year, the People & Culture Festival took place for the first time, organized by medianet berlinbrandenburg. The focus was on the shortage of skilled workers in the media and creative sectors and the topic of recruiting. We take a look back and spoke with medianet board chair Jeannine Koch.
CCB Magazine: Jeannine, 1.300 participants, 73 speakers, 3.200 minutes of programming on 6 stages. What is your conclusion?
Jeannine Koch: My conclusion is extremely positive. The numbers speak for themselves. But what is much more important to me is what the participants, speakers, exhibitors and partners had to say about the event. And here, too, I heard basically only good things.
CCB Magazine: The People & Culture Festival focused on the demand for skilled workers in the media, digital and creative industries. How can this be quantified?
Jeannine Koch: There are numerous studies related to this. In October, for example, the Erich Pommer Institut presented the nationwide study by the "Media Collective" continuing education network on the need for skilled workers and continuing education in the moving image industry. Three quarters of the companies said they perceived a noticeable need for skilled workers. Unfortunately, we also know from this study that many industry professionals have migrated to where working conditions are better and that there is also a lack of well-trained young talent. Indeed, in the study, only 29 percent of the companies surveyed said they offered apprenticeships. Six out of ten companies said that they simply received too few applications - and 85 percent of the applicants were not suitable at all. The figures are hardly any different in other subsectors, because many of the problems are horizontal, i.e. challenges that affect everyone equally.
Many industry professionals are migrating to places where working conditions are better. A survey by the Berlin Music Council, for example, found that 29 percent of music professionals no longer see any career prospects as a result of the Corona crisis, are planning a career change or have already done so
CCB Magazine: For years, the theory of selling out one's own labor power was rampant in the cultural and creative industries, the keyword being self-exploitation. Are we past this phase? Are we experiencing a paradigm shift in which creative professionals can suddenly choose their jobs?
Jeannine Koch: I would say that we are now in an employee market rather than an employer market. I myself once belonged to the so-called "internship generation," which worked a lot and earned little. Fortunately, some things have changed since then. Today, there is a greater awareness of the concerns of employees. This was also one of the many topics in the panels and keynotes at the People & Culture Festival. Politics is also providing improvements with the new minimum wage in effect since October 1. At the same time, there is still uncertainty as to how, for example, the creative and event industries will get through the winter with a view to possible Corona restrictions. In any case, the music and event industry has been considerably weakened by the Corona years: for example, a survey by the Berlin Music Council revealed that 29 percent of music professionals now no longer see any career prospects as a result of the Corona crisis, are planning to change careers or have already done so. And small and medium-sized pop acts in particular are no longer getting their concerts full. The shortage of skilled workers also means that companies are often unable to exploit their full potential. Nevertheless, I am confident that there will be further improvements in the market. After all, we're dealing with industries here that are actually incredibly exciting, innovative and promising, and which have great economic and cultural significance for our region.
CCB Magazine: One focus this year was on recruiting, what's that all about?
Jeannine Koch: If there are too few skilled workers on the labor market, I may have to train them myself or offer appropriate programs for career changers - that's what recruiting means, and here the creative sectors are facing completely new challenges. UFA, for example, with its UFA Academy, where you can learn careers in film and TV in just two years, and the Erich Pommer Institute with Media Collective are good examples of how it can be done. When it comes to recruiting, the approach today simply has to be completely different than it was years ago. Due to the many new job profiles that are emerging in the games industry, in new media technologies and other areas, for example, it is necessary to evaluate what content and structures could be used for successful retraining or further training: What qualifications do workers need beforehand? What skills can we provide them with? Recruiting is increasingly about offering potential new employees what they expect from a modern company these days: appropriate pay and work-life balance, flexible working hours and work location solutions, etc.
The demand for skilled workers in the creative sectors is shaking up the labor market. The pandemic has given New Work a boost. Generation Z in particular is calling for a better work-life balance
CCB Magazine: The panel of Niels Pfläging from BetaCodex Network discussed the topic "Leadership, organizational design and success in the labor market: why almost all companies still have the real transformation ahead of them". What do companies still have ahead of them?
Jeannine Koch: Niels Pfläging is a truly passionate thought leader when it comes to modern leadership, and in this context he has presented approaches to thinking and organizing that fit into our future working world. Although many companies have certainly not yet completed their "digital transformation", the transformation Niels is referring to alludes to the following questions: How do I run a company against the backdrop of a shortage of skilled workers? What potential do the social changes offer? Do we need more democracy in work and organizations? For those who missed the lecture: You can watch it and many other program points of the festival on our medianet YouTube channel.
CCB Magazine: Another focus was on trust and a new matching of employers and employees. What trust has been lost in recent years? And how can it be rebuilt?
Jeannine Koch: The need for skilled workers, which has existed for several years, is shaking up the labor market. And the pandemic has given New Work a further boost. Generation Z in particular is calling for a better work-life balance and thus a working world that the corporate managers of the boomer generation did not know for decades - and that requires trust. Janina Mütze gave the opening keynote on this topic. Karsten Kossatz from independesk also impressively described that trust is the basis for New Work and for the foundation of every collaboration. It should also be noted that these requirements must be in line with the legal framework. This includes legal requirements, e.g. on mobile working abroad, on a possible obligation to record working hours in the home office, etc. Dr. Alexandra Henkel, a specialist in labor law, provided exciting insights into this topic, where there is still a great deal of uncertainty.
CCB Magazine: Final question: How will Berlin remain a magnet for skilled workers in the future?
Jeannine Koch: This can only be done if business, politics, science and civil society all pull together - and as quickly as possible, because demographic change, which will mean around 5 million fewer workers for German companies in 2030, is already breathing down our necks. As a network association, we sense that everyone is willing to address the issue intensively. The People & Culture Festival explicitly demonstrated this: The Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Businesses provided significant funding for the festival, and numerous companies participated. And with over 1.300 participants, society has clearly demonstrated its interest and the high demand. This allows us to look positively into the future - knowing full well that the need for skilled workers will be with us for a while yet.
Category: Knowledge & Analysis
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