Take any broader debate about the "skills shortage" and a closer inspection of demand and the gaps that need filling reveals the obvious need for Deutsche Telekom's commitment in this area. The pressing problem is the lack of young people with qualifications in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM subjects. In Germany, STEM is better known as MINT, which stands for Mathematics, Computer Science ("Informatik"), Natural Sciences, and Technology.
Deutsche Telekom is one of the largest training providers in Europe and its commitment to fostering skilled junior staff and young talent. The establishment of the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation in 2005 sent a strong signal throughout Germany and firmly cemented the company's activities in this field. The foundation's aim is to promote education, science and research in the STEM subjects, starting in preschool and continuing right through to scholarship level. The Deutsche Telekom Foundation is committed to supporting Germany as a center of education in the following five categories: "early education", "classes and more", "teacher training", "talent development", and "creating awareness".
In 2008, Deutsche Telekom stepped up its commitment by becoming a founding member of "MINT Zukunft schaffen," a Berlin-based association dedicated to safeguarding the future of the STEM professions. The aim of the initiative is to reverse the decline in expertise in the German economy with respect to professions in the natural sciences and technology. The initiative is chaired by former CHRO of Deutsche Telekom Thomas Sattelberger and has as its patron Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"MINT Zukunft schaffen" is a Germany-wide network that generates positive change momentum. Various different associations and companies have been running MINT programs successfully for many years now. What this association does is offer a joint platform that enables them to reach a critical mass, on both an analog and digital basis. The online portal contains information on initiatives across Germany available in database format for specific target groups. There are currently around 1,000 individual initiatives in place.
As of 2016, the network has more than 20,000 MINT ambassadors, including affiliated networks such as DMV (Association of German Mathematicians), VDE (Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies), and the Bitkom industry association. The ambassadors are involved in promoting STEM in education as well as fostering talent.