Vocational training and career development

Vocational training

  • 3,240 apprentices in around 60 occupations worldwide
  • Around €107 million spent on vocational training

As of December 31, 2015, BASF was training 3,240 people in 15 countries and around 60 occupations. We spent a total of around €107 million on vocational training in 2015, as well as about €9 million on the BASF Training Verbund as part of our social commitment in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region.

In 2015, 886 apprentices started their vocational training at BASF SE and 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 programs and initiatives. These include Start in den Beruf and Anlauf zur Ausbildung, in which 249 young people in the BASF Training Verbund participated in cooperation with partner companies in 2015. The goal of these programs is to prepare participants for a subsequent apprenticeship within one year, making a contribution to the long-term supply of qualified employees in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. Because the number of open vocational training placements in some fields outweighs demand, some placement slots in these programs remain unfilled. 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.

Furthermore, 20 Spanish apprentices once again began their vocational training in Tarragona, Spain, on the basis of the German vocational training model. The theoretical and practical phases take place in Tarragona and in Ludwigshafen. The apprentices are then placed in production plants after their vocational training is finished. In 2015, 16 Spanish apprentices successfully completed their training and began employment at the Ludwigshafen site at the start of 2016. We consider this program a way of expanding our recruiting pool.

Moreover, we began a program in 2015 to integrate refugees into German life. In its initial phase, “Start Integration” is offering 50 participants prospects for beginning their career through the BASF Training Verbund. With its modular structure, the program is geared toward refugees with a high probability of being granted the right to remain in Germany.

BASF Group employees by contract type (total: 112,435)



December 31,

women %

Permanent staff








Temporary staff




Learning and development

  • Life-long learning concept focuses on learning from on-the-job experience
  • Learning Campus promotes further education in worldwide networks
  • Specific further training for employees in production and technical fields

Our learning and development opportunities support the Best Team Strategy and have a direct connection to business. We want to enable life-long, learner-centric learning; in so doing, we follow the “70-20-10” philosophy. That means applying the elements “learning from experience” (70%), “learning from others” (20%) and “learning through courses and media” (10%). Our global Learning Campus is the central platform for the programs on offer for life-long learning. It allows employees to find the courses relevant for them. Our goal is to create a common-ground, inspiring learning experience that enables employees to connect with the company and with each other. The options cover a range of learning goals: starting a career, expanding knowledge, personal development, and leadership training. As a platform for exchange as well as for strategic and cultural shift, the concept of the Learning Campus also facilitates thinking and acting as one company.

In regular development meetings, our employees and leaders outline prospects for individual professional development together and determine measures for further training and development. This approach was implemented for around 60,000 employees by the end of 2015. Our goal is to introduce these development meetings for all BASF employees by 2017. They supplement the annual employee dialogs that are conducted in all BASF Group companies worldwide, which include an employee performance assessment component.

We spent around €96 million on further training in 2015 (2014: €101 million). Our measures for further training are based on the learning needs of our employees. Local and international seminars and workshops enable the acquisition and exchange of knowledge and promote networking. Each employee spent an average of 2.5 days on further training in 2015. Internal specialists provide our employees with career counseling.

We support the large number of 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.