Young Euro engineers want work in Germany

German companies made up half of the top-10 most sought after employers for European engineering students in a survey published on Wednesday.

Young Euro engineers want work in Germany
A Bosch worker at an automated production line. Photo: DPA

Although IBM pipped Siemens out of its 2014 first-place ranking, BMW, Airbus, Bosch and Daimler/Mercedes-Benz loaded the rest of the leaderboard with German quality.

But it wasn't just German companies' reputation for high-quality products that made them leading choices for the future engineers and IT workers.

“Top employers are the ones that have made professional development the top thing on their agendas, and offer a creative and dynamic work environment too,” said Claudi Tattanelli, Global Director of labour market research firm Universum.

That might mean that the likes of Volkswagen, Bayer or BASF have some investing in their workforce to do to move up in the attractiveness stakes, after they placed 23rd, 24th and 26th respectively.

And Germany as a whole has some catching-up to do when it comes to the business side of the equation, where not a single German company was among the top 10 employers picked by undergraduates.

BMW was the top-placed German entrant at 13th, with others such as adidas, Deutsche Bank, Daimler/Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen peppering the high teens and 20s.

“Business students prefer professional training and development, challenging work and opportunities for international travel/relocation,” Universum said in a press release.

The Universum survey asked 168,000 business and engineering or IT students in the 12 biggest European economies about their preferred companies and workplace environment.

SEE ALSO: Graduates desperate to work for car giants

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Environment: Germany aims for carbon-neutral steel by 2050

Germany on Wednesday pledged to help its steel industry become carbon neutral by 2050, as the coronavirus pandemic squeezes a sector already in a prolonged crisis.

Environment: Germany aims for carbon-neutral steel by 2050
Economics Minister Peter Altmaier at the Steel Action Plan conference on Wednesday. Photo: DPA.

It is important to act now so the steel industry “will still be competitive and environmentally friendly … in 30 years' time,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said.

A proposed plan includes new criteria for awarding public contracts, a minimum quota of low-carbon or carbon-neutral steel in finished products, and a new “green steel” label, Altmaier said.

Industry figures cited by the economy ministry suggest steelmakers will need an extra €30 billion ($34 billion) to become carbon neutral by 2050.

But the plan unveiled Wednesday did not include any new government subsidies.

Europe's steel industry has been hit hard in recent years by falling prices owing to global overproduction, especially by China, and by US sanctions introduced in 2018.

The coronavirus crisis piled on more pressure with a drop in demand from key sectors such as the auto industry.

German steel production has fallen by 10 percent since 2010 and the number of workers in the sector has dropped by 4,000 to 86,000.

Industrial giant Thyssenkrupp said in May it was looking for a partner for a possible merger of its steel division, after years of troubles including a blocked merger with India's Tata Steel.

As part of its coronavirus recovery plans, Germany unveiled in June a nine-billion-euro scheme to become the world leader in green hydrogen technology.

Berlin is betting that fuel produced from renewable energy sources can both reduce carbon emissions — including in steelmaking – and stimulate the economy.