Officials expect production at company’s first European factory to start this year despite setbacks.
BERLIN — Tesla is increasing the training of skilled workers for its new European factory after it was reported that the electric-car maker is struggling to find employees.
The company plans to train around 150 apprentices in approximately 10 industrial and technical professions to work in its factory under construction near Berlin, according to the East Brandenburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK).
In an email to Automotive News Europe, the IHK confirmed that Tesla will offer 10 apprenticeships this year. Six are for warehouse logistics and four to train as IT experts, specializing in systems integration. The training program set to begin as early as this year, according to the IHK.
German regulations require companies to submit training contracts to the IHK for checks on matters such as trainers’ qualifications, suitable workplaces, vacation entitlement and remuneration.
Despite delays and the lack of final approvals guaranteeing the factory’s opening, Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs Joerg Steinbach said he expects production to start this year.
“I have hopes that the first car to roll off the production line will have the year of birth 2021,” Steinbach told the Handelsblatt newspaper on Monday.
Tesla is finding the task of recruiting workers for the factory more difficult than expected, Automobilwoche, a German language sister publication of Automotive News Europe reported in December. Negative media reports about “rude manners” and Tesla’s “hire-and-fire” system could be putting off potential candidates, people familiar with Tesla’s recruitment efforts toldAutomobilwoche.
In June, Tobias Marmann, recruitment lead for the Berlin plant, posted two training openings as well as a dual bachelor’s degree for logistics, where applicants in the four-year program would learn about tasks related to the organization and management of material flow.
The training position for an IT system integration specialist is up on Tesla’s jobs page, with a start date of September 2021. Another training position for a warehouse logistics specialist is also posted on Tesla’s website, beginning in September and running for three years.
Tesla’s careers page also lists four training positions in various fields in the German cities Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Nuremberg.
The German factory has run into opposition from environmental activists.
At the end of June, the Gruene Liga and NABU nature conservation associations lost their bid to file an emergency injunction that would have prevented important factory tests from being carried out by the automaker.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously criticized the complex regulation and red tape tangling up the opening of the plant.
The Berliner Zeitung said Tesla’s factory is having a positive effect on the city of Frankfurt an der Oder, which is 60 km (37 miles) east of Gruenheide.
Mayor Rene Wilke said there has been a “considerable” increase in interest in residential development and commercial space and is becoming more interesting for investors. “The spotlight is more focused on the region,” he said, calling Tesla an “image push.”