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  • Dear Readers!

    If truth be told, we had all been hoping that we would no longer have to talk about Covid by spring 2021. Who would have thought that we would be spending a second Easter and a second Ramadan with no end to the pandemic in sight? The longer this situation continues, the more difficult it is to maintain the public and personal discipline needed to fight the pandemic. People are weary. They are fed up with having to go from one lockdown to the next with there being no real prospects of life returning to normal. And while infection rates continue to rise no matter what restrictions are put in place, the country’s normally reliable federalist system is beginning to reveal some weaknesses. Is it really helpful that the measures taken to tackle this global threat are decided on at federal state level? On the other hand, why should public life grind to a halt in a sparsely populated region with a low two-figure infection rate just because the number of people catching the virus is rising exponentially in an area several hundred kilometres away? There are no simple answers but at least we are fortunate to have almost 27,000 ICU beds here in Germany and are better prepared for the situation than many other countries. However, being forced to focus almost entirely on treating Covid patients, hospitals are finding themselves in a difficult financial position – to say nothing of the huge and constant stress levels that the ICU healthcare professionals are having to cope with. At least the Covid measures have led to a dramatic decline in all other kinds of respiratory illnesses. Fortunately, the strict hygiene measures have meant that we have not had to deal with a flu epidemic this year.

    The world tends to view Germans as being both extremely organised and efficient. Some may be reconsidering their opinion, though, looking at the speed – or lack of speed – vaccinations are being rolled out. Which once again brings us back to the subject of using the private sector to deliver essential services. Here, too, many problems could have been prevented right from the start if politicians had taken up the help offered by the private sector to support the vaccination campaign. It can be assumed that an international online ticket seller, one able to sell millions of tickets for rock festivals or worldwide concert tours within just a few hours, would be able to organise online vaccination appointments faster and more efficiently than the overworked local health authorities with their outdated IT systems – and certainly without their website crashing or without them having to develop new software first. Such offers, however, have been taken up by just a few individual public health offices and then only belatedly.

    Are things running more smoothly in the circular economy? This latest issue of REMONDIS aktuell takes a closer look at the differences between rural districts and cities. It is, above all, the rural district authorities that turn to the private sector for help in providing a number of services – both in the circular economy as well as in the area of water and wastewater management. This approach not only promises to deliver the best services at sensible prices. It also has a major impact on how efficient their sustainability efforts actually are. With local authorities facing both an increased financial burden caused by the pandemic and an urgent need to renovate their infrastructure, it is well worth taking a closer look at the situation. 22% of local councillors believe that their local business tax revenue will be at least 10% lower in 2021 than it was in 2019. The majority of district and town councils, 64% to be precise, are planning to increase their local taxes and/or charges. There is certainly room for them to optimise their business operations in the area of cost-intensive key services, such as waste and water management, by systematically putting these services out to tender, extending their PPP arrangements or founding a new PPP company.

    We hope you enjoy reading this latest issue. Stay safe!

    Yours, Ludger Rethmann

Learning from home

REMONDIS began setting up a Learning Management System (LMS) for its workforce back in 2017. With the course contents able to be accessed anywhere – even from home – e-learning is a particularly attractive option for a company with around 800 business locations worldwide and many employees working in the field.

9,000 employees registered

At present, approx. 9,000 of the Group’s employees have registered to use the system and, in 2020, they successfully completed around 17,500 courses. With strict Covid restrictions in place, this system has played an essential role in ensuring that practically all of REMONDIS’ divisions have been able to continue to offer their staff further training courses. A new, mobile TV studio has provided trainers and other staff groups with a further opportunity to teach content. It has also helped to make the training opportunities even more attractive.

An on-demand studio

  • The company has been using mastersolution’s mobile TV studio since 2020. Packed securely in a transport box, it can, in principle, be used wherever it is needed. It has already been deployed for staff meetings so that employees working in the field or at more remote locations can easily be reached. Other areas of use include presentations given for further training courses and sales seminars as well as for customers, who are unable to be visited at the moment. The sound and picture provide that human touch that is all too often lacking during virtual meetings. It is even possible to film events live. One of the biggest advantages of this studio system is its professional technology that enables pictures, sound and inserts (for example of slides) to be shown in TV quality – thus creating a highly professional effect. It also enables employees to have the Lippe Plant as their backdrop during online meetings when they are working from home.

    115 courses are currently being offered on the e-learning platform; these include purely web-based teaching content as well as courses involving a mixture of digital learning and classroom attendance

A coach helps people to use the equipment

  • At the heart of this system is a special, state-of-the-art laptop containing professional software that not only enables sound and image to be simultaneously mixed with, for example, different backdrops but also for the results to be checked and corrected immediately. The equipment includes, of course, a camera, several microphones, lighting, a teleprompter and a green screen that makes it possible for the backdrop to depict other backgrounds or graphics. REMONDIS is offering the mobile TV studio with a coach to encourage people with little video experience to try it out.

    The mobile TV studio in action

Learning Management System continues to grow

There are, of course, a multitude of interfaces between this new studio and REMONDIS’ Learning Management System as they complement each other perfectly. The studio recordings can be embedded in the LMS. The LMS platform itself provides more than just e-learning as it offers purely web-based teaching content as well as courses that involve a mixture of digital learning and classroom attendance. What’s more, the system can also be used to manage courses that only involve in-person events – for example, to send out invites, handle the registration process and issue certificates of attendance.

Working together with the service provider, mastersolution, a mobile TV studio was able to be created for all kinds of presentations. Find out more about mastersolution here

Around 115 courses are currently being offered via this system – approximately 60% more than just two years ago. Some of these are mandatory instruction courses covering obligatory and sometimes recurring subjects, such as health and safety topics. In such cases, REMONDIS and its subsidiaries must make sure their staff attend the course, document this and be able to provide proof of attendance. The system automatically sends invitations to the members of staff when it is their turn to attend such a course.

E-learning is becoming more and more popular

The company’s traineeship and management training programmes, both of which involve a mixture of face-to-screen and face-to-face learning, are targeted at specific groups of users. The system, however, also focuses on more general courses to enable all employees to enhance their professional and personal skills, such as IT, teamwork and communication skills. Plans are for the staff to be able to use courses from an open portfolio in the future.  With technology advancing at such a rapid rate, e-learning is becoming an ever more important teaching method. REMONDIS is driving forward its e-learning programme as it sees it as an efficient way to train and further train its employees as well as to remain competitive and promote lifelong learning. Yvonne Schmidt and Jennifer van Bernum are there to answer any questions REMONDIS employees may have. They are inviting everyone to join in: “Both the mobile TV studio and the learning management platform should pique our employees’ curiosity and inspire creativity. They can try out new channels of communication, further hone their skills and make the most of these great opportunities.”

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