Education and development

Our extensive training and continuing education offers do more than just actively make sure we have access to plenty of skilled employees. They also show that we take our corporate and social responsibility seriously. The need for well-trained employees is going to increase significantly in years to come. This particularly applies to our future business areas such as big data, cyber security and Industry 4.0.

Our goal is to identify and get talented young people on board early on in their careers. That is why we extensively support their training and continued education. We specified a trainee ratio of 2.9 percent of our employees in Germany each year until 2015. This made us one of the largest vocational training providers in Germany. We currently offer openings for ten vocational training programs and eight cooperative degree programs. We also offer a large number of training and development opportunities for our experts and managers. With these offers, Deutsche Telekom supports the concept of life-long learning.

Our Education 3.0 initiative, which we launched in 2014, takes a look at the entire educational chain to help us structure our offers according to current skills requirements, from vocational training and continuing education programs for professionals to expert development programs. With these activities we make sure that our investments in education generate the most added-value possible for both the company and our employees. We never forget the Group's strategic skills requirements when creating our training and continuing education offers, as our training program for cyber security professionals, which we launched in 2014, shows.


We systematically monitor and continually evaluate the effectiveness of our training and development measures using tools such as our regular employee surveys.

Our standardized, Group-wide leadership model, "Lead to win" also helps improve the skills and performance of our managers. Essentially, "Lead to win" focuses on a continuous exchange between managers and their supervisors about performance and development issues, a direct link between performance assessment and incentives, and personal development paths.

Our Guiding Principles, Leadership Principles and Employee Relations Policy are the cornerstones of these activities.

The company's own HfTL University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig is involved in a variety of projects focused on educating experts to work in the telecommunications market and on encouraging young people to pursue careers in the STEM  subjects. The university currently employs 27 professors and offers a current 1,032 students the opportunity to get a degree in the area of information and communications technology.

HfTL offers full-time, cooperative and part-time degree programs throughout Germany and boasts a unique program with specialization in topics such as cloud computing, data privacy, connected life, app development and machine-to-machine communication. The university is also planning to add a cooperative degree program in applied computer science to its portfolio in 2015.

In order to encourage students to focus on STEM  subjects, HfTL founded the Leipzig Academy for School Students in collaboration with the Arnold Sommerfeld Society in 2010. The university supports the academy by providing the university infrastructure and hosting expert lectures. Students grades 9 and up can attend lectures on natural sciences and technology and discuss these subjects with experts. Topics in 2014 ranged from climate research to new materials being used to make bicycles.

To promote STEM  subjects HfTL also gives children and young people an idea of what it is like to study these subjects and later work in a related profession. This includes an opportunity for secondary school graduates to attend the university for several days, a children's university where kids get the chance to conduct age-appropriate experiments and the Junior Engineer Academy, a student project financed by the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation.

In 2015, HfTL will again participate in the computer science category of the experiNat sciences competition held by the Leipzig public utilities company. Around 300 school students will get to know Deutsche Telekom's university during the competition.

Deutsche Telekom has taken many steps in Germany, such as systematically adjusting our hiring and staffing processes, to get more women interested in technical careers. We optimized our most important channel for job applications, our careers website, to address female applicants, making the topic more visible and emphasizing its relevance. Deutsche Telekom also advertises explicitly for female students and graduates, represents the company at a number of women's trade fairs and offers application workshops especially for women. Exclusive workshops for female students and graduates at CeBIT  and the Graduate Conference complete our offer tailored especially to women. Growing applicant numbers show that Deutsche Telekom is becoming increasingly attractive as an employer for both men and women.

Deutsche Telekom has also been presenting the annual Women's STEM  Award since 2013 to get women interested in STEM  subjects. In 2014, we once again recognized six graduates for their excellent final papers in STEM  subjects. To qualify for the award, the papers had to address one of Deutsche Telekom's five growth areas. The winning paper on "Cell Size Adaptation and Intercell Interference Coordination in LTE  Heterogeneous Networks" received a prize of 3,000 euros and an additional paper in each of the five categories received 500 euros.

With our international trainee program, Start up!, we offer young people with entrepreneurial spirit and the willingness to develop an excellent opportunity to join our company in Germany. Not only does Start up! help secure new talent, it also promotes a shift toward a more innovation-oriented corporate culture at Deutsche Telekom.

In 2014 we again accepted approx. 40 university graduates into our trainee program, 40 percent of whom were women. During a period of 15 to 18 months, the trainees got to know different areas of the company in Germany and abroad and were put in charge of challenging project activities in various business areas. Experienced mentors encourage the trainees, and innovative training formats and events complete the program.

Deutsche Telekom is one of Germany's largest training openings and once again was placed high in the ranks among the DAX-listed companies in 2014. In training year 2014/2015, we had more than 8,900 apprentices and students in cooperative degree programs.

  • Over 7,400 are apprentices
  • Around 1,400 are students on cooperative degree courses
  • Roughly 100 are participants in our entry-level training scheme.

We offer ten vocational training programs and eight cooperative degree programs with eight partner universities and other educational institutions for young people interested in careers in these fields. Our apprentices are trained at 33 training centers throughout Germany.

Diversity is very significant to the Deutsche Telekom Group. That is why we encourage diversity among our trainees in Germany by addressing a variety of performance levels and needs.

  • Since 2011 the company has been collaborating with the German Federal Employment Agency to offer single parents the opportunity to complete a training program or cooperative degree program part-time. Around 50 young people began their part-time training in 2014.
  • We provide opportunities to young people from migrant backgrounds who are faced with particular problems on the job and vocational training market. Eight percent of our trainees and students in cooperative degree programs have a nationality other than German, representing a total of 69 other countries.
  • "My chance to get going", our entry-level training project, gives young people who got off to a difficult start, are unemployed or come from families that rely on welfare pursuant to the German Social Code and have limited career perspectives because of learning disabilities or because they do not qualify for training programs an excellent chance for an apprenticeship at Deutsche Telekom. Of the 458 interns who participated in the program between 2009 and 2013, 326 have already started a training program at our company; 76 of them started with the first training year and 250 were accepted directly into the second year. Another approx. 100 interns started the program in 2014.
  • By supporting women in technical cooperative degree programs, we promote talented young people for the future as well as diversity at the Group. While in 2010 only 11 percent of the positions at our company were held by women, today more than 23 percent of our staff are women.
  • Around one percent of young people with disabilities pursue their training at our company. This is above-average in view of the total number of disabled people in Germany.

Our Young IT Talents and Young Sales Talents programs support high-performing apprentices and students in cooperative degree programs who are focusing on one of our growth areas. Participants of both programs have the opportunity to tackle challenging customer projects and extend their skills at expert and training events, and in national and international competitions.

Deutsche Telekom is closing a gap on the German vocational training and job market with our training program for cyber security professionals, which was launched in 2014 within the scope of a pilot project. According to a study by the BITKOM industry association, IT data privacy experts are extremely hard to find on today's market. The study found that there were no vocational training programs and very few degree programs that people could attend to learn the necessary skills needed. That is why Deutsche Telekom decided to launch the first round of this development program with 10 participants in September 2014.

The cyber security professional program runs for two-and-a-half years and was created for apprentices and students in cooperative degree programs at Deutsche Telekom who can apply after completing their current training. The program combines classic further training with study modules and learning phases at the company. Those who complete the course receive a certificate for IT security professionals from the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. We put out a call for applications for another ten positions in our cyber security professional program in 2015.

With its „Bologna@Telekom“ initiative, the Group offers grants to particularly high-performing employees to help them take a degree course along with their work. The initiative has grown impressively in the six years since it was launched. While the first semester in 2009 got underway with only 60 participants, Deutsche Telekom welcomed its 1,000th student in 2014. More than 90 percent of participants complete the program.

The content of Bologna@Telekom is adjusted annually in line with the Group's requirements, therefore helping Deutsche Telekom cover its need for skilled employees over the long term. IT security was recently introduced to the program.

To qualify for the Bologna@Telekom program, applicants need to exhibit particularly high performance and to have been with the Group for at least two years. Deutsche Telekom pays half of the courses fees and gives grant recipients ten extra days off a year. The results of Bologna@Telekom are impressive: A survey of graduates conducted at the end of 2014 showed that the program already had a positive impact on the careers of around half of the graduates; 88 percent would decide to participate in the program again.

With our Group-wide talent management activities we help high-performing employees tackle new challenges. We added the pilot version of a new online platform to these activities during the reporting period. Since March 2014, talented people who are planning the next step in their careers or want to gain experience working on strategic projects have had the opportunity to increase their chances of getting noticed on our Talents@Telekom platform. With the platform, we hope to raise awareness of the talent available at the Group and improve their development opportunities.

Talented employees interested in new opportunities can introduce themselves and post their resumes on the online platform, while human resources employees throughout the Group can use the platform to get in touch with them. A special section addresses female candidates and provides them with information about their career opportunities. Talents@Telekom has met with great response. More than 800 employee profiles were created in only two months, 28 percent by women. More than 300 employees from HR units throughout the Group are already using the pilot version of the online platform.

An analysis shows that Talents@Telekom considerably simplifies cross-Group staffing processes and particularly increases the chances of talented female employees getting noticed. The platform contributes significantly to diversity at the Group. The Group-wide rollout is scheduled for 2015.

We extensively advanced our Leadership Excellence and Development (LEAD) program in 2014 and modified it in line with the challenges our managers currently face. For the first time, all managers at the Group have access to a standardized offer of business-based, strategically relevant learning formats. The portfolio covers central topics that support managers in furthering business activities as well as in their roles as leaders and team managers. The program is based on our leadership principles "Collaborate," "Innovate" and "Empower to perform."

Information from interviews conducted with managers was taken into account when designing the program. Manager training is conducted using modern learning formats that combine attendance courses with e-learning forums. Managers throughout the Group can use the Open LEAD portal, which was launched in October 2014, to learn more about the offer and sign up for the development measures that are right for them.

In May 2014 we introduced a new tool for assessing the performance of top-level managers, the Performance Dialog tool. This new tool has replaced the Performance & Potential Review previously used for this target group.

The Performance Dialog includes ongoing dialog between executives and their superiors. Working together closely with their superiors and reflecting intensively on their own leadership style is expected to improve the performance of our executives and make the assessment process more transparent. The Performance Dialog is based on our Guiding and Leadership Principles. In addition to being reviewed by their superiors, their colleagues and employees also assess the executives' leadership style. These reviews have a direct impact on target achievement. The review within the scope of the Performance Dialog forms the basis of our new Rewards system.

Around 500 top-level managers are currently being assessed using the Performance Dialog tool. Our „Compass“ tool for assessing employees covered by collective agreements and civil servants in Germany and our „Performance & Potential Review“, which we rolled out internationally in 2014, continue to be used throughout the Group. Roughly 20,000 experts and managers from our national companies had already been incorporated into the Performance & Potential Review process by the end of 2014.