Dr. Walter Rogg: “International students are an enrichment”

by | Jun 19, 2018 | Business

Dr. Walter Rogg, Managing Director of the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (WRS), illustrates to the “New in BW” team the perspectives for international professionals in the booming region.

Why is the Stuttgart Region so attractive for international students and young professionals, in your opinion?

The Stuttgart Region is a leading business location with a very high density of research. The whole region is characterized by a balanced economic structure and has, for example, about the highest density of engineers in Germany. The automotive sector, mechanical engineering, ICT, environmental technology, creative industries and business services are strong key industries here and shape the region significantly.

At the same time, the region is affected considerably by the shortage of qualified professionals. The companies are experiencing this shortage especially in the technical professions. In particular, engineers, IT specialists and nurses are missing. That is why I see international students as a strong asset and an enrichment for our region. They are the experts of tomorrow. We want to bind those highly qualified specialists to the Stuttgart Region and keep them in the long term. The current situation on the labour market is very good: about 1.5 million of the population are employed and the unemployment rate of 3.4 percent is low.

What perspectives can SMEs in the region offer?

The Stuttgart Region is known in particular for its automotive industry, and most students are familiar with companies such as Daimler, Porsche and Bosch. But there are more than 160,000 companies in the region, of which more than 98 percent are small and medium sized (SMEs). Many of them are so-called “hidden champions” in their field. Those enterprises are offering exciting jobs with very good development opportunities. They often have flat hierarchies, flexible structures and processes and they offer jobs with a wide range of activities and responsibilities. There is, for example, also the possibility to work on projects and have assignments abroad. Let us keep in mind that more than 60 percent of the products from the Stuttgart region are exported worldwide.

The WRS and the Stuttgart Region Alliance for Skilled Professionals (in German “Fachkräfteallianz Region Stuttgart”) as an organization and initiative: How come that so many players in the region are jointly attracting and retaining skilled professionals?

Indeed, in this alliance all regional labour market players are bundling forces. The WRS, the Regional Agencies for Employment, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chamber of Crafts, trade unions like DGB Nordwürttemberg and IG Metall as well as the employer association Südwestmetall and Bosch are involved in joint activities such as anchoring the welcome culture in Baden-Württemberg and operating the Welcome Center. I am also grateful for the support the alliance is getting by Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, the Minister of State for Economy.

The partners cooperating in the alliance also work together in country-specific networks. Since 2016, they are collaborating in the network for the labour market integration of Italian immigrants in the Stuttgart region. Based on the initiative of Mr. Carlos Medina Drescher, the General Consul of Spain in Stuttgart, the network for the labour market integration of Spanish immigrants in the Stuttgart region was founded in July 2017. In November 2017, the network partners organized an information event on the topic of employment of Spanish professionals. Now, they will hold the podium event “Spanish Professionals – Your Added Value for Internationalization and Global Competition” at the Global Connect exhibition of the Stuttgart Trade Fair on 21 June 2018. The event will provide information on approaches and current projects of labour mobility with Spain as well as reports from companies/employers

The interview with Dr. Rogg was held to be published in the special edition of our magazine for the GlobalConnect at Messe Stuttgart. The magazine will be available for purchase at the GlobalConnect Fair on the 20th and 21st of June.

The WRS will be attending the GlobalConnect Exhibition with their very own round table “Spanish Professionals – Your Added Value for Internationalization and Global Competition”. This event is part of the forum edubiz. Check out the programme, the speakers and the topics here