Vocational training and career development

  • 3,120 apprentices in around 60 occupations worldwide
  • Around €104 million spent on vocational training

As of December 31, 2016, BASF was training 3,120 people in 14 countries and around 60 occupations. We spent a total of around €104 million on vocational training in 2016, as well as about €6 million on the BASF Training Verbund as part of our social commitment in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region.

In 2016, 837 apprentices1 started their vocational training at BASF SE and at German Group companies, filling almost all available program slots in Germany. The current shortage of skilled labor nevertheless presents a challenge that we address with various initiatives. In the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan region, such programs include Start in den Beruf and Anlauf zur Ausbildung, in which 210 young people in the BASF Training Verbund participated in cooperation with partner companies in 2016. The goal here is to prepare participants for a subsequent apprenticeship within one year, making a contribution to the long-term supply of qualified employees in the region. Because the number of open vocational training placements meanwhile outweighs demand, some slots in these programs remained unfilled in 2016.

BASF launched its new apprenticeship campaign in May 2016, called “Show Us What You’ve Got!” (Zeig’s Uns!). It underscores the fact that, for BASF, an applicant’s overall impression is not made by technical know-how alone; personal interests and strengths like initiative, creativity and team spirit are also decisive factors.

At the Ludwigshafen site, we also offer a part-time training program for newcomers from other fields, so that they can qualify for a career in chemical production even while working at their current job.

The “Start Integration” program, begun with 50 placements in 2015, is geared toward refugees with a high probability of being granted the right to remain in Germany and aims to integrate them into the labor market in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. BASF expanded the program to 300 placements and, for the 2016/2017 apprenticeship year, added three modules – include a one-year career prep course providing instruction in topics like language and intercultural training.

1 At BASF, the apprenticeship program trains students for technical, scientific and business vocations as well as for trade and craft professions.

BASF Group employees by contract type (total: 113,830)



December 31,

women %

Permanent staff








Temporary staff




Learning and development

  • Life-long learning concept focuses on on-the-job experience
  • Specific further training for employees in production and technical areas
  • Development meetings form important element of employee development

Learning and development are essential success factors for a strong company culture. The skills and competencies of our employees are critical for profitable growth and lasting success. With the Best Team Strategy and regional learning strategies, we want to establish a new learning culture and enable life-long, self-guided learning. The learning and development options cover a range of learning goals: starting a career, expanding knowledge, personal development, and leadership training. For example, our Learning Campus in Singapore offers development programs for leaders and leadership candidates with a focus on strategy, leadership and innovation. It serves as a platform for new styles of learning and brings together employees from diverse areas – for our goal is to create a common-ground, inspiring learning experience that enables employees to connect with the company and with each other. In this regard, we have also been implementing the “MentForMe” mentoring program step by step since 2016. Our learning activities follow the “70-20-10” philosophy: We apply the elements “learning from experience” (70%), “learning from others” (20%) and “learning through courses and media” (10%).

We support employees in production and engineering worldwide with job-specific qualifications and further training. We have further strengthened our in-plant qualification measures with in-plant trainers who promote the continuous professional development of employees in production and engineering through individual learning assignments. Moreover, we expanded our programs on safety culture and knowledge management as well as team and organizational development.

We spent around €69 million on further training in 2016 (2015: €96 million). Each employee spent an average of 2.0 days on further training in 2016. As part of cost management, we decided in 2016 to focus training on business and safety-related courses.

In regular development meetings, held as part of our annual employee dialogs, employees and leaders outline prospects for individual professional development together and determine measures for further training and development. This model was implemented for around 78,150 employees by the end of 2016. We want to conduct development meetings for all employees by the end of 2017.