The AGC Group has established a variety of training programs, such as technology and skill training provided alongside rank-specific training in order to support the growth of its employees, considering that human resources are the driving force for the growth of the Group's business operations. Moreover, the training system and its content are regularly reviewed in order to promote employee’s growth.
The AGC Monozukuri Training Center is an educational facility designed to effectively cultivate AGC Group personnel. The Training Center is comprised of two areas one for training and one for practice, and it provides trainings on 80 clerical and technical topics, principally for AGC Group employees (Japan). The practice building used to teach technical skills is designed around the concepts of “actual site, actual work and actual conditions.” This building, equipped with machines and equipment similar to those actually used in AGC Group plants, provides trainees with practical, hands-on learning opportunities. Trainees are able to learn things which they would have fewer opportunities to learn in their daily work at plants, such as, for example, the structure of a melting furnace and its troubleshooting methods. In addition, training is provided to business partners in order to improve the level of manufacturing and cultivation of personnel throughout the supply chain.
Training and Education Building
Accommodation facility at the AGC Monozukuri Training Center
|FY||Annual training hours (hours/person)|
Rank-specific training is targeted at new employees, employees carrying out certain roles, and newly appointed managers. Moreover, in order to strengthen management roles and functions, rank-specific training is provided for representatives and managers. Management training is provided for employees in Korea, China and Taiwan, as well as employees in Japan.
Since 2014, the Group has been providing employee training online as part of its "Learn anytime, anywhere" workplace-building initiative. As of the end of December 2015, 16 of 75 training courses, excluding courses for rank-specific training, are available online. In the future, the Group plans to make 40% of its training courses available on the Group website and through online training.
|FY||Annual training hours (hours/person)|
|FY||Annual training expenses|
|2013||186 million yen|
|2014||104.5 million yen|
|2015||98.3 million yen|
Promoted through all departments, the AGC Group improvement activities are conducted from the viewpoint of daily improvements and large-scale, innovative improvements in order to achieve the overall goals of the organization. The Group is applying industrial engineering and other scientific methods to not only make more efficient and effective progress in each of these sets of activities, but also to raise the skills of employees who participate in them.
In Europe, technology division personnel in various countries, including the Czech Republic, Hungary and Belgium, participate in an industrial engineering training program. Managers who receive exhaustive training then become designated instructors, and are dispatched to the Group’s sites all over Europe to promote progress in localization, which includes deploying improvement activities at each production base.
Meanwhile, in Indonesia, local employees of Asahimas Flat Glass are carrying out improvement activities at the Cikampek Plant with the goal of boosting productivity. Activities include redesigning the warehouse layout to raise logistical efficiency, and making existing equipment more efficient before adding new equipment.
Conventional improvement activities focused on improving processes in existing production facilities. However, in the future, the Group will focus on incorporating IE knowledge into new business and new product lines at the process design stage, and on human resource training geared to the construction of a production management system that can operate it effectively.
The AGC Group introduced a unique personnel database, Skill Map, in fiscal 2010. This group-wide database, in which employees are registered by their specialty, is designed to act as a tool to maximize the capacity of each employee, promote communication and provide effective staffing. It enables the Group to “see” the skills held by employees in various divisions at various companies. As of the end of 2015, approximately 8,000 employees are registered in Skill Map in 28 technical categories and 13 sales/administrative categories.
The Skill Map enables users to see at a glance which fields have sufficient personnel and which may not have enough in the future across the whole Group, facilitating strategic hiring and training of personnel in accordance with the growth strategy. Moreover, the database shows whether personnel with necessary skills are present in the organization, facilitating the search for appropriate human resources and placement of employees suited to the task.
Along with the Skill Map, the AGC Group created a cross-divisional network activity (CNA) to enable fellow employees possessing common skills to network with each other, which would otherwise be impossible because they conduct their day-to-day work in different organizations. The objectives of the initiative are to facilitate greater specialization of each skill in the Skill Map, support problem solving using the fresh perspective of other network members, and to further develop skills, knowledge of technology and human resources.
Cross-divisional network activities take place on various levels, from information sharing to joint research. Through discussing potential roadblocks and bringing together skills and know-how, solutions to common issues and ideas for new technology. The CNA approach also facilitates fruitful collaboration between employees with different skill sets. For example, collaboration between the sales and R&D departments gives the customer a role in the R&D process, allowing them to bring in viewpoints and fresh ideas that can spark new initiatives.
AGC Group (Thailand)
Following the safety and health management meeting held in China last year, a kick-off meeting on CAN for "Plant Engineering Skill" was held on May 12, 2015 at the AGC Chemicals (Thailand) Phrapradaeng Plant as part of the Group's globally expanding, cross-divisional networking activities. The meeting brought together AGC Group employees from affiliated companies in Thailand utilizing similar skills, who formed a human network through problem-solving and human resource development aimed at tackling common issues across their divisions.
At the meeting, which was attended by employees from Group companies in the glass, chemical and electronic sectors, the presidents of AGC Flat Glass (Thailand) Public and AGC Chemicals (Thailand) expressed their enthusiasm for networking activities. A group discussion was also hosted, with lively dialogue between employees of the various companies.
The employees at the Thai companies have formed subcommittees and are currently preparing for future activities.
The president’s message including his hopes for the future
Commemorative photo at the kick-off meeting
AGC Group (China)
On September 16 and 17, a meeting on CNA for safety and health management was held as a cross-divisional networking activity at Zibo Asahi Glass Alumina Materials, the Group's ceramics hub.
As was the case last year, the event was attended by employees engaged in safety management at Group companies in the ceramics, glass and electronics divisions in China. Following a presentation on initiatives to eliminate serious accidents at each company, there was a spirited group discussion on issues and incidents related to safety management. Experts in safety skills from China showed a video on safety awareness, which was well received by the audience. They expressed the need to apply what they had learned directly to increased safety measures.
In the closing address, there was a comment that the in-depth discussion was very meaningful, and that it would be ideal for these activities to bear fruit in practical terms. In that regard, Chinese employees are expected to play an even greater role in years to come.
The safety skill leader's lecture
Commemorative photo of all participants
In order to encourage employees to choose jobs in which they can use their expertise, AGC Asahi Glass has introduced the Challenging Career System. This system assigns appropriate people to newly launched businesses and to operations that need strengthening, further invigorating the organization in the process. In addition, the Professional System and the Meister System have also been adopted in order to appropriately evaluate and manage those with highly specialized expertise or advanced technological skills.
The Meister System is a system that certifies technicians who have outstanding technical skills and knowledge indispensible to the continuous development of the AGC Group, who exercise these skills to great effect, and who are responsible for training and guiding their successors. Every year, the Group holds the Meister Exchange Meeting, at which the Meisters certified in each field by the executives in charge of technology assemble under one roof to report and share the content of their various activities.