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Skilled hands can mine gold anywhere In an interview, General Manager Professor Dr. Gunther Olesch reveals why he attaches particular importance to skilled work, the importance of the Phoenix Contact brand when choosing a career, and how he makes Blomberg attractive on the job market. è Professor Dr. Olesch, how important are “skilled hands” at Phoenix Contact, the digital company? Extremely important. Just think of all the machines we have in production. They not only have to be designed, but also assembled, set up, maintained, and, in daily operation, fed with the intended raw materials or semi-finished products. We do not only need engineers for this, but also hands-on specialists. Even maintenance and building technology – this is not yet possible with 3D printing. Of course, we are a digital industrial company, but skilled hands are and will remain decisive. è And how important are the craft trades, that is to say professions without an academic background, in the modern industrial landscape of the future? Perhaps even more important than years ago. There are not enough skilled workers. And this will have an even greater impact in the future. While we have been pushing dual studies in the last ten years because there were not enough engineers, we are now increasing our commitment to skilled workers and their classic training. Otherwise, we will not have them in the future. There will be enough engineers, but not enough skilled workers to maintain, repair, and service the machines, to replace motors and bearings. We are already feeling this, and if we do not act, it will worsen dramatically. è A development that could be seen coming a long time ago. How long have you been responsible for the personnel structure at Phoenix Contact? I have been with the company for 31 years and have been on the Management Board since 2001. Here, I am responsible for the field of human resources, but also for those of IT and facility management, among others. Training has always been my mission. And that is to say, training at the highest level. è Was that one of the reasons for founding the Training Center? How important is training our own young talent? It is existential for us. One reason is our rural location, where it is difficult to find mechatronic engineers on the open labor market. Both training and continuing education are extremely important, which is why we have built the spacious training à The Phoenix Contact innovation magazine UPDATE 5/20 37