People – Employee engagement and society

‘We value our people’


Gerhard, since when have ALPLA been training apprentices and how have the topics developed since the beginning?

Gerhard: Dual training at ALPLA began in 1960 and has been continuously expanded. First in Vorarlberg, then in the rest of Austria as well as in Germany, Mexico, China, India and Poland. As of September 2022, 271 apprentices are being trained at ALPLA worldwide, which is the highest number in the company’s history. In spring 2023, we will also start training apprentices in South Africa for the first time. All this underlines the high value placed on apprenticeships at ALPLA and counteracts the current shortage of skilled workers. This has been a global problem for some years now, particularly in technical professions. At ALPLA, we want to counteract this trend by further expanding apprenticeship training in the future, for example in the USA. Our strategic goal is to be training 400 apprentices worldwide by 2026 and 500 by 2030.

Gerhard Geismayr
Global Director of Corporate HR & Organizational Development

At the same time, we attach great importance to the further training of our existing employees. In future, this is set to take place in so-called regional hubs where, ideally, both apprentice training and other training courses will be organised. This will allow synergies to be created and resources optimised worldwide. In addition, we will increasingly focus on our international footprint. This means that we are looking for existing employees in other regions and would like to give them the opportunity to work at other locations, at least temporarily. In Brazil, there is a new project in which technicians are trained for eight months and then work in the North American region, for example.

In summary, it can be said that apprenticeships at ALPLA work well and continue to be highly valued. At the same time, we would like to offer our existing employees even more opportunities for further training.


Flexible working, working from home, reduced working hours – a lot is happening in the modern world of work. What has happened at ALPLA in this regard and what is planned for the future?

Gerhard: That is true; there have been many developments in this area. Among other things, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated certain changes. Working from home, for example, has come to stay. It has been shown in many companies that doubts about the productivity of employees working from home were unfounded. At ALPLA, however, flexible working means more than working from home, as this is not possible for employees in production, for example. That is why solutions need to be found and implemented here too. A pilot project was recently launched in North America whereby the night shift can be split among employees. The first results are promising: in a difficult labour market in the US, we were able to find new employees and retain our existing ones.

The challenge in the future will be to find solutions for all employees to enable them to work flexibly. But we are on a very good path here and have already been able to implement some innovations at our headquarters, far beyond working from home. We are in constant communication with the different regions, so that they can also find and offer opportunities for their part.


The focus is also increasingly on the health of employees. Are there special offers at ALPLA?

Gerhard: As a company, we are responsible for ensuring that every employee returns from work healthy and safe. For this reason, health and safety have always been a high priority at ALPLA. We carry out regular audits to identify and rectify problems at an early stage. As a result, we have been able to minimise incidents around the world. In addition to physical health, we attach high importance to mental health. Particularly in socially uncertain times, marked by the coronavirus pandemic, high inflation and wars, it is crucial to offer our employees security in this respect as well. In order to make effective use of our staff, psychological security is needed, so that employees are able to contribute their ideas.

A pilot project has been launched at the headquarters, in which a focus group is dedicated to this topic, gathering experience and developing relevant offers. Our corporate identity, which was written down for the first time and communicated worldwide with the slogan ‘We value our people’, provides us with a framework within which we move throughout the ALPLA world.


At ALPLA, therefore, a great deal is already being done for the employees. What are the priorities for the next few years?

Gerhard: A key challenge in the coming years will be to retain qualified employees in the company. Besides the relevant ‘hygiene factors’, such as a salary in line with the market, the topic of leadership plays a decisive role in employee satisfaction. For this reason, both existing and new managers undergo a tailor-made training programme. In addition, we have significantly expanded the training offerings of our ALPLA Academy with a non-technical offer.

During this reporting period, we also started to implement our Talent Powerhouse strategy. This leads to informed decisions when it comes to promotions, but also to individual development plans when it comes to practical learning for our employees in our global network of plants. Prospects for growth and the opportunity to develop skills are very important for the sense of meaning and thus for the satisfaction of the individual. This is also increasingly establishing us as an excellent employer on the external labour market.

Another focus is equal treatment, which we strive to promote in the company, for example also in terms of personality traits. Because having different characters in a team has proven to lead to better results. Our three guiding principles ‘We value differences’, ‘We break down barriers’ and ‘We empower talent’ are an important part of our global HR strategy.

In the coming years, we will also focus increasingly on the digitisation of HR, implement our employer branding strategy and push ahead with organisational development, change management and other important topics. So it remains exciting.