Europe’s largest manufacturing and electronics company, Siemens, on Thursday announced plans to cut 1,700 jobs in Germany over several years. In what the company is calling an "efficiency drive," 1,000 additional jobs are to be transferred to external firms in Germany or to other units within the company, according to a company statement.
Among other moves, the company plans to reshuffle its enterprise IT business, consolidate storage sites at its Digital Factory division, and to consolidate its training centers.
At the same time, the company also said it planned to hire around 9,000 new employees in Germany, and would make efforts to retrain as many of those employees affected by the cuts as possible.
Siemens has over 113,000 employees in Germany and the company expects the number of annual new hires to remain at a high level in the years ahead, with at least 25,000 new jobs created worldwide.
According to the company's statement, the measures are intended to drive modernization and help make Siemens a "digital industrial company."
Siemens reported positive quarterly results last week, better than expected by many analysts. CEO Joe Kaeser has been driving the company's transformation towards digitalization and Industry 4.0, the government-backed initiative intended to further modernize and mechanize the German manufacturing industry.
In a recent interview with Handelsblatt sister publication, WirtschaftsWoche, Mr. Kaeser said Industry 4.0 would determine the fate of German industry. "The good news is that value-creation chains will become more efficient. The bad news for some is that these chains will be severely shortened; segments that don’t bring any added value will be eliminated. Soon many jobs won’t exist in the form we know them today. But new activities and many new jobs will also be created. The challenge will be to provide people with the skills required for the new jobs."