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Our approach to training and development

Our contribution to the SDGs

We offer employees of Deutsche Telekom a wide range of individual vocational training and development programs. The cornerstones for this are our Employee Relations Policy and the Guiding Principles.

Ensuring employability
We help the experts of tomorrow gain qualifications through our comprehensive training and continued education offers in both the technical and commercial fields. In 2019, we provided 2,150 training positions throughout the Group, of which 1,450 apprenticeships, 675 openings for students on cooperative Bachelor’s degree courses, and 25 for students on cooperative Master’s degree courses. That makes us one of the largest training providers in Germany.

We promote lifelong learning in all phases of employment and support our employees on their own individual learning path. To be able to identify individual needs for development in a targeted manner and provide tailored offerings, we obtain an overview of our employees’ skills. We offer our employees a wide range of individual training and development options, such as work abroad or work/study programs. Under the Bologna@Telekom program, we have been giving employees the chance to participate in a part-time university program for ten years now – and gain qualifications ranging from Bachelor’s to Master’s degrees. A total of 1,800 employees have taken up this offer since it was launched 10 years ago.


Digitals skills are the key to the future
Our employees around the globe spent somemillion hours on training and skills development in 2019, 46 percent of which was on digital offerings, which is 5 percent more than in 2018. Many of our courses can now be booked via the global Learning Management System (LMS); in 2019, digital courses accounted for 60 percent of the training which could be booked via the LMS.
In 2019, Deutsche Telekom began making long-term changes in the learning culture at the Group. With the “youlearn” initiative, we are pursuing the goal of turning Deutsche Telekom into a learning organization. For this, the company is focusing increasingly on supporting everyday, self-directed learning with content that should also be more enjoyable. In 2019, “youlearn” launched new information portals for learning opportunities, an improved search function, new digital learning content, and a new experience-based learning platform. In addition, a “Learning Challenge” motivates employees to participate in voluntary informal learning. One remarkable example of self-managed, autonomous learning is the employee initiative “Learning from Experts” launched in 2018: by the end of 2019, some 450 experts had shared their knowledge in brief, digital sequences with a community of almost 50,000 colleagues.

Strengthening leadership skills in the digital age
We also adapt our management development programs to the challenges of the digital age. Since 2017, our extensive training catalog has included classroom teaching as well as entirely digital offerings. As a result, we not only strengthen leadership skills, but also virtual leadership abilities, and offer many opportunities to network.

As part of our “Lead to win” performance and development process, our top-level managers receive feedback on their current performance profile and have an opportunity to address their needs for development. We have consistent tools for performance assessment in Germany in the shape of “Compass” for employees covered by collective agreements and civil servants, and the Performance & Potential Review for managers and employees not covered by collective agreements. The Performance & Potential Review is also used at many national companies.

Agile transformation of Deutsche Telekom in Germany
In Germany, we are boosting our use of agile methods in the fields of product and process development. The goal is to intensify our focus on the customer and speed up our delivery capability.

To this end, we have more closely dovetailed the cooperation model for the business and IT segments. In addition, management has been simplified and an overarching business and IT architecture created to increase standardization of our products.

The agile transformation at Telekom Deutschland is bolstered by a comprehensive range of training and education programs. Along with typical training courses on agile working, this includes four-month classes for specific role profiles such as “Product Owner” or “Scrum Master” as well as a leadership program for managers.

youlearn at T-Systems
In 2019, the issues of skills management and learning were high on the agenda Group-wide. We are systematically building up skills at T-Systems. The basis for this are approximately 200 “skill profiles”: they reflect not only what the job requires today, but also what will be needed in the near future. Using a self-assessment, our employees can see how well they already fit a profile. They can close any gaps with targeted training courses and retraining or further training programs.

In 2019, T-Systems launched the #youlearn SAP Program, a one-year qualification program for junior employees in the SAP field. There are also other new development paths, such as for sales employees and junior project managers. One special feature is the training program to become a digital engineer, which is aimed at T-Systems’ employees. Together with the Business School of RWTH Aachen University, we will train these digital “all-rounders” within nine months. The first 20 digital engineers started and completed their training in 2019.

Training program for cyber security professionals

Data security experts are still in short supply on the German labor market, which is why we developed our part-time training program for cyber security professionals (certified by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry) in 2014. The two-and-a-half-year program is integrated into their regular tasks and supplemented by topic-based and general modules in a variety of formats (classroom courses, e-learning, blended learning). Those who complete the development program receive a certificate for IT security professionals from the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They can obtain credits in their Bachelor’s and Master’s program for the skills they have acquired as part of the further training. Given the demand, including from other companies and public agencies, we have opened up our further training to employees from other organizations. The sixth year’s intake embarked on the program in 2019 and comprises 13 employees from Deutsche Telekom and five participants from other companies and public administration authorities.

The verdict now that the first three years have completed the program is a positive one. Of the 29 graduates from the 2014, 2015, and 2016 intake, 28 were kept on at Deutsche Telekom.

Training program prepares for supervisory board positions

Our contribution to the SDGs

In 2014, we became the first DAX company to develop a training program to prepare employees for supervisory board positions. The program was developed in collaboration with the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT). We are particularly interested in encouraging women to take a seat on the supervisory board. We have trained a total of 64 potential supervisory board members so far, around half of which work at national companies outside of Germany. Around half of the program’s graduates were then appointed to a Deutsche Telekom Supervisory Board.

Skills development at Telekom Training in Germany KPI

Deutsche Telekom offers its employees a range of advanced training measures, which enable them to develop and brush up their skills.

You can find further information here and in the HR Factbook.

Reporting against standards

By reporting this data we fully cover the GRI 404-1 (Average hours of training per year per employee) and GRI 404-2 (Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs) GRI indicators as well as the S02-02 (Average expenses on training per FTE p.a.) EFFAS indicator. This data also covers criterion 16 (Steps taken to promote the general employability of all employees) of the German Sustainability Code.

International development and leadership programs KPI

The object of our international development and leadership programs is for high potentials and high achievers to gain a foothold in the Group, to keep them loyal to the company and to position them in suitable jobs. These programs focus on development of the upcoming leader generation and on support in coping with the challenges they face now and in the future. At the same time, the programs aim to enhance their sense of belonging, increase knowledge exchange and promote personal responsibility.

For 2019, 952 participants were included in the Global Talent Pool.

2019 saw the continuation of successful formats, ongoing improvements based on participant feedback, and the redesign of individual courses. After two successful rounds, we continued our state-of-the-art levelUP! executive program in 2019. In total, over 2,100 executive staff have already participated in this program. levelUP! is designed to help managers tackle future challenges and facilitate their own development journey. The main aspect pursued in 2019 was to focus on leadership in an agile context.

You can find further information here and in the HR Factbook.

Apprentices and training programs Deutsche Telekom Group in Germany KPI

In 2019, we recruited more than 5,900 junior employees for training or a cooperative degree program. More than 32% of them were women. The decrease on the previous year's figures is in line with the general employment trend at Deutsche Telekom.

You can find further information in the HR Factbook.

Reporting against standards

By reporting this data we partially cover the GRI 404-1 (Average hours of training per year per employee) GRI performance indicator. This data is also relevant for criterion 15 (Diversity and health) of the German Sustainability Code.

Employee recruitment Deutsche Telekom Group in Germany KPI

In 2019, Deutsche Telekom hired almost 1,200 new employees from the external labor market in Germany. In addition, we gave around 1,300 internal junior staff permanent jobs on completion of their vocational training or cooperative study courses. A total of 8,300 employees were recruited outside Germany.


You can find further information in the HR Factbook.