04.12.2023 | Interview with Axpo COO Henriette Wendt
The general shortage of skilled workers in industry also impacts the energy sector. Many new skills are needed as the energy transition progresses. Responding to this demand, Axpo has initiated a training campaign, led by Henriette Wendt, our Chief Operating Officer and member of the Executive Board.
Axpo started a training campaign in 2023. What exactly does this entail?
We’re planning a series of measures to make Axpo the most important training organisation in the Swiss energy sector. This includes training opportunities for future-facing occupations, multi-level offers at different performance levels, and the development of a more diverse range of skilled trades. For example, in Switzerland 2023 saw the first apprentices commence their training at Axpo as digital business developers. From 2024, our CKW subsidiary will also jump-start a new three-year solar engineering apprenticeship and new two-year apprenticeship for solar installers.
Why is this campaign needed?
Due to rapid developments in the energy industry, the demand for trained specialists with new skills has increased massively. A lot more specialists are required by the energy transition, particularly for solar and data specialists. In Switzerland, we’re already taking the lead in this area. Our subsidiary CKW, for example, is the largest private training organisation in Central Switzerland, thanks above all to its building technology solutions business.
However, we will now be stepping up our efforts significantly. In Switzerland, our goal is to gradually increase the number of apprenticeship positions at Axpo to more than 600 by 2030. As a proportion of our total number of jobs in Switzerland, this corresponds to an apprenticeship quota of around 15%.
Apprenticeships alone won’t fill in the gaps for specialist positions, will they?
No. That’s why we’re also prioritising the further training and education of our existing employees and supplementing the training campaign with internships and trainee programmes. We will now be taking on up to 18 university graduates a year as trainees. This is three times more than three years ago. We can offer these educated and motivated young people an interesting start to their career, international employment opportunities, an exciting network and – above all – a useful occupation. They can contribute to the energy transition and play their part in ensuring a secure energy supply.
During the reporting year, the number of full-time equivalents at Axpo increased to a total of 6420. How difficult was it to recruit for these positions?
The fight for talented recruits is tough, but Axpo is in a comparatively good starting position. We are a successful, internationally active company working in a promising industry with a wide scope of activities and many exciting positions.
Our purpose is to enable a sustainable future for society through our innovative energy solutions. This is particularly appealing to young people. In a study carried out by recruitment agency Randstad of the most attractive employers in Switzerland, our CKW subsidiary made it into the top ten and led the field in the energy, power supply and telecommunications sectors.
Our goal is to become one of the most attractive employers both in Switzerland and internationally.