Telekom Logo
Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.

Our approach to training and development

Our contribution to the SDGs

We offer our employees a wide range of individual vocational training and development programs. Important principles for this are defined in the Employee Relations Policy and in our Guiding Principles. For many units of Deutsche Telekom, specific agreements were also reached with the employee representatives on the subject of training.

Training the skilled workers of tomorrow
We have an extensive range of technical and commercial programs for training our skilled workers of tomorrow. In 2020, we provided 2,150 apprenticeships in Germany, of which 1,450 for vocational training, 675 openings for dual Bachelor’s students and 25 for dual Master’s students. This makes us one of the largest training providers in Germany. We provide training far beyond our own needs – and thereby make it possible for many young people to enter the working world.

Promoting lifelong learning
We promote lifelong learning and support our employees on their individual learning path. We start by reviewing the skills our employees have now and those they will need in the future. Based on this, we offer our employees tailored training and development programs. These can include stays abroad or studies parallel to their jobs. For example, “Bologna@Telekom” gives employees access to part-time Bachelor and Master degree programs. Since its introduction more than ten years ago, over 2,000 employees in Germany have taken advantage of this opportunity.


Digital training during the coronavirus crisis
In recent years, we have increasingly shifted our training to digital learning. During the coronavirus pandemic, this was very helpful in ensuring training for employees despite working from home and no classroom courses. In 2020, more than 60 percent of our training measures took place on digital media and platforms. We further expanded our digital training offerings globally (with the exception of T-Mobile US) throughout the year, for example, with the innovative “Percipio” learning platform. In addition to a desktop solution, the Percipio app lets users access content anytime and anywhere. It offers a wide range of courses, videos, books and audio books on topics such as leadership, technology, and development, or digital transformation, and conveys the learning content in an entertaining way. By November 2020, 170,000 Deutsche Telekom employees were already registered on this platform. In addition, our employees can use the training materials from Coursera, the world’s largest provider of online courses at university level. The courses on topics such as big data, cybersecurity, cloud, and artificial intelligence are provided by a network of around 200 universities.

Digital skills - the key to the future
Worldwide, our employees invested around 2.5 million learning hours in their own training in 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this was significantly less than in 2019. However, the share of digital learning increased significantly: Almost 69 percent was delivered digitally, about 23 percent more than in 2019. Today, our employees can access almost all learning opportunities digitally. In 2020, 99 percent of courses bookable Group-wide were digital.
Since 2019, we have pursued the goal of turning Deutsche Telekom into a learning organization with the “youlearn” initiative. We offer our employees worldwide (with the exception of T-Mobile US) the ability to largely manage their own training by means of digital offerings and to make learning an integral part of everyday working life. For example, “youlearn” invites employees to take part in a voluntary, informal “learning challenge”. In October 2020, “youlearn day” was offered for the first time as a Group-wide digital learning event. On a digital conference platform, employees could choose from around 40 online sessions on the latest business topics – such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and software development – and participate for one day. 4,700 participants registered for this first “youlearn day”. The Technology & Innovation segment offered its employees another learning day the next day.

Another example of self-managed, autonomous learning is the “Learning from Experts” (LEX) employee initiative launched in 2018, where experts from the Group pass on their knowledge to their colleagues in digital courses lasting around 30 to 60 minutes. By the end of 2020, some 3,000 such course options were available, making LEX the fastest-growing community at the Group.

Boosting leadership skills in the digital age
We are also increasing the use of virtual solutions in our management development programs. The aim is to strengthen virtual leadership skills. As part of our “Lead to Win” performance and development process, our executives receive feedback on their current performance profile and individual development opportunities. The “Lead to Win” approach will be replaced by the new “WeGrow” performance development approach in 2021. This new process will help us increase the commitment of each employee through regular feedback, create clarity about tasks and expected results, and strengthen the trust-based relationship between manager and employee. In addition, the new approach will enable closer integration with other HR processes such as skills management, talent management, and succession planning and helps us meet our business targets. In addition, we use two uniform performance assessment tools throughout Germany:

  • “Compass” for employees covered by collective agreements and civil servants, and
  • “Performance & Potential Review” for managers and employees not covered by collective agreements. Many national companies also use the tool.

Agile transformation of Deutsche Telekom in Germany
In Germany, we are focusing increasingly on agile working – especially in the development of new products. The goal is to intensify our focus on the customer and speed up our delivery capability. This is supported by a comprehensive training and education program, including courses in agile working and four-month training courses. They provide skills for role profiles within the agile concept, such as “Product Owner” or “Scrum Master”. A leadership program on agile working is also available for managers.

Reporting against standards


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 404-1 (Training and Education)
  • GRI 404-2 (Training and Education)

Agile working and new learning concepts at T-Systems

Agile transformation at T-Systems
Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, agile working at T-Systems continued to gain speed. We responded flexibly to the new circumstances and worked almost entirely from home during the lockdown phases in 2020. Our employees were assisted by “Agile Power Teams”, colleagues responsible for implementing agile working methods at T-Systems worldwide. The Agile Hub ensures the teams are connected and coordinated. It is made up of agile working experts. Among other things, they design training formats and support knowledge-sharing among the teams. In 2020, offerings included new and totally virtual training formats.

“youlearn” at T-Systems
In 2020, the Group-wide “youlearn” initiative was also continued at T-Systems; this also included a relaunch of the “youlearn Guide T-Systems” training platform. T-Systems also took part in the Group-wide “youlearn day”. The focus at T-Systems this year was on the “Digitize!” training initiative, which gives employees the skills they need to implement the digital transformation at the customer. It offers digital training on technological issues such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, and the part-time “Digital Engineer Program” in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University. This program trains employees to become a pilot for digital transformation within 10-12 months. 2020 marks the second time this program was offered. Graduates of the first training session were involved in the development of the Corona-Warn-App img in 2020.

Training program for cybersecurity professionals

IT security experts are still in short supply on the German labor market, which is why we developed our part-time training program for cybersecurity professionals (certified by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry) in 2014. The program is integrated into regular work processes and supplemented by topic-based and general modules in a variety of formats (classroom courses, e-learning, blended learning). After successfully passing the examination at the relevant Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK), participants receive an IHK certificate for IT security specialists. They can obtain credits in their Bachelor’s and Master’s program for the skills they have acquired as part of the training.

We are continuously developing our training programs, taking into account current and future IT security requirements. In 2020, for example, we developed and deployed new technical modules in cryptography and web and application security. In addition, we incorporated the topic of “mental health” at the request of participants and specialist companies and included a related workshop in the program.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we were able to carry out the full program in 2020. The contact restrictions simply meant that individual classroom events had to be carried out virtually.

Given the demand, including from other companies and public agencies, we have opened up our training to employees from other organizations. Now in its seventh year, the program was held digitally due to the pandemic and had 22 participants, two of whom came from external organizations. Fourteen participants came from Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH and six from Deutsche Telekom IT GmbH.

After six program sessions to date, we can give it a positive verdict: Four classes completed the training in full by June 2020 and were certified accordingly. The average age of the graduates was approximately 25. At 1.7 percent, the dropout rate among participants was very low. We now count a total of 97 program participants in seven years. All 40 graduates of the 2014 to 2017 classes were kept on at Telekom. Only two graduates decided to leave the company, one of whom returned after one year.

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


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 404-1 (Training and Education)
  • GRI 404-2 (Training and Education)

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 16 (Qualifications)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • S02-02 (Average expenses on training per FTE p.a.)

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.

The Global Talent Pool was closed to new entrants in June 2020. A revised global approach - Talent Hub - has been developed and will be launched in 2021.

2020 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 2020. 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 2020 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 2020, we recruited around 5,900 junior employees for training or a cooperative degree program. More than 29 percent 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


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 404-1 (Training and Education)

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 15 (Equal Opportunities)

Employee recruitment Deutsche Telekom Group in Germany KPI

In 2020, Deutsche Telekom hired almost 800 new employees from the external labor market in Germany. In addition, we gave around 1,100 internal junior staff permanent jobs on completion of their vocational training or cooperative study courses.


You can find further information in the HR Factbook.