Praktikum 4.0 with the Neustarter Foundation
On the 28th January the Neustarter Foundation held it's second annual kick-off meeting inviting members of the board, sponsors and partners as well as members of the public and companies interested in finding out more about the Neustarter mission and it's current project "Praktikum Arbeitswelt 4.0" (Apprenticeship Industry 4.0).
For an excellent review of the event (in German) read Katja Geis' article.
I came across the Neustarter Foundation via a post in LinkedIn from Bernadette Höller, the Managing Director of the Foundation. We met and hit it off. We also quickly realised that the project "Praktikum Arbeitswelt 4.0" and many of the findings from my research on Lifelong Employability compliment each other. We decided to collaborate on this project together with me providing consulting and project management for the pilot. The Neustarter Foundation was set up to help people who are mid-career, 49+ years old, and feeling stuck. People looking to find a new lease of life professionally and perhaps have "new start". On the website there is a plethora of inspiring stories of people who have done just that.
At the annual Neustarter kick-off event on 28th January in Zürich we were able to present the concept of the Praktikum publicly for the first time and get feedback and input from the attendees. The Praktikum Arbeitswelt 4.O is a major current project for the foundation. The idea is to work with established companies, for example the Zürcher Kantonal Bank has already signed up, who for a small financial contribution can offer 2 employees with long tenures at the company the opportunity to do a 4-week apprenticeship in a Startup or company that has adopted Industry 4.0 business models and ways of working.
The employees get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leave their daily work behind and dive into a different world of work, see where they have experiences and skills that are in demand in that world, and see where there are gaps. An important element is connecting the dots between the "two worlds of work" and taking fresh inspiration and perspectives back to the company and the team they work for. For the Startups it's a great way to get visibility and access a growing pool of experienced resources otherwise not available to them.
It seems the demand is definitely there! Established companies and their employees as well as Startups all showing interest and signing up.
Neustarter is still looking for sponsorship to enable the pilot to run successfully covering its costs. So if you like to get involved with this innovative approach to proactively dealing with the real need for "older workers" to be able to reboot their careers and continue contributing fully for long and are able to help us financially please get in touch!