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02/15/2024 | Campus-Meldung

Design impulses for the Hessian working world

The world of work is facing profound change in the face of complex megatrends. Demographic development, digitalization and ecological transformation have far-reaching effects on the way we work, train and shape our working environment. A team led by Kassel political scientist Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schroeder has been investigating the specifics of these developments for Hesse for more than three years as part of the "Arbeitsweltberichterstattung Hessen" (Hesse Working Environment Report) for the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs. At the conference "Potentials, problems, perspectives: Gestaltungsimpulse für die hessische Arbeitswelt", the results of this work will be presented on February 27 at the University of Kassel and discussed with more than 100 experts from the Hessian working world in order to provide impetus for the working world of tomorrow.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schroeder.Image: David Ausserhofer.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schroeder.

Companies and employees must adapt flexibly to changing conditions and new requirements in order to strengthen their resilience, i.e. their ability to shape and resist change. Demographic change requires a constant focus on promoting age-appropriate working conditions and strengthening dual vocational training. For example, 14% fewer dual and school-based training contracts have been concluded in Hesse since 2011, compared to a national average of just 12.5%. Even though vocational school-based training has recently increased, it remains well below the pre-pandemic level. At the same time, a training contract does not guarantee completion, as the nationwide termination rate of over 29.5% in 2022 shows.

In the context of digitalization, we are currently experiencing a profound structural change in work, which, in addition to new requirement profiles, is also characterized by a lasting change in forms of work and working hours. This includes offers such as mobile work, platform work and many other innovations. The home office rate in Hesse will remain stable at 28% in 2022, four percentage points above the national average. On the one hand, this will place new demands on the socially integrative performance of companies; on the other hand, employees will be required to have an unprecedented level of organizational skills.

With the new requirements and uncertainties, further training activities are also becoming increasingly important. During the coronavirus pandemic, however, the further training rate of Hessian employees slumped from 28% (2019) to 13% (2021). To meet these expectations, it is not only necessary to return to pre-pandemic levels. In particular, it is necessary to better address the weaker groups, whose participation in further training was already twelve percentage points below the average in 2019.

Even though the Hessian working world is facing major challenges, a proactive approach can shape a working world that is more supportive for those involved. The conference aims to make an important contribution to this on the basis of scientifically sound findings. In presentations, thematic workshops and a panel discussion, it will take up key results of the project that have emerged over several years of work. The numerous publications from the project in the form of factsheets and policy papers can be accessed free of charge at