The panelists at IHC Summit in Queretaro, which took place from Monday 24 to Wednesday 26, Oct., discussed the importance of dual education as well as networking to build up talent in Mexico. Ricardo Camarena, HR Manager of ZF TRW Mexico began: “We shouldnt worry about losing trainees after they complete their internships, we already have three years of their talent and those that move on take our inspiration with them.”
Emilio Cadenza, Director General and CEO of Group Prodensa contributed that the decisión makers in the government, “should be in the front row here, to understand what is needed to expand the automotive and aerospace industries.” The panel agreed that this was a missed opportunity for the authorities to learn what the industry needs to flourish.
Regarding globalization’s effect on local markets, Octavio Macias, HR Manager at Mazda said, “the incoming international influences is an opportunity for Mexicans to be part of global growth and contact foreign businesses without even having to leave the country.” Mazda sends employees from all levels, from engineers to upper management, to Japan to learn best practices from their HQ.
Javier Aragón HR Director at FCA, shared the group’s best practrices, “we have to recognize that people leave for better offers and for quality of life, so we concentrate on making their working environment at FCA enjoyable.”
Education, the only route
Jorge Gutiérrez the rector of the UNAQ explained that more than 14 institutions have engineering programs including UNAQ and UNAM. “But we want to emphasize that we are more than an educacional Institute, we could generate innovations for the industry.”
Several institutes in Mexico are pioneering, including CONALEP, represented by María Alena Salazar Peña, the Academic Secretary. She explained how the Instituto is leading the industry and encourages entrepreneurs to open up more internships, specifically to train 1st class main-d’œuvre for themselves, and the local industry.
Isidoro Mata, the Director General of CeDIAM said that the syllabi for apprenticeships is a long time coming, “we should have opened ourselves up to the dual education system much earlier, the universities must change its education method from teaxhing to learning.” He believes the students must be inspired to learn by being made aware of the end result.
OEMs and employee perks
Nancy Manriquez, HR manager of Textron International Mexico-Bell Helicopter, began explaining what was most difficult for Textron to develop. “We worked many years to train specific electric and structural assembly abilities and we have seen excellent results in Chihuahua. It is key to have a good base level of expertise in a plant to build up the whole team.” To strengthen the experience offered by colleagues to newcomers, the company offers personnel a bonus for good quality and performance.
The panel commented that medical insurance has been a winner among older generations, whereas younger generations appreciate flexible working hours. Benefits are a differentiator for all companies. Carlos Robles, President of FEMIA, commented that Bombardier (of which he is Operations Director) has a high rate of returning team members. He puts this down to employees appreciating the labor environment. “Customer loyalty applies just as much to employee loyalty.”
“Our plants in Queretaro and Chihuahua have seen small differences in what our teams appreciate,” continues Robles. “Something as small as a turkey at christmas can be greatly appreciated in one state and not at all in another, so we have to evaluate what we offer each employee or team individually.”
Laura Gretel, Director of ProMéxico in Queretaro presented details on a program managed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which sends people between the ages of 43 and 60 to train younger generations. She explained that these volunteers are motivated by the spirit of contributing and helping others. Moreover, the volunteers are sponsored by JICA, “so receiving companies have to spend very little to have the contribution of their Volunteer Veterans.”