As of September 30, 2016, our Group's total headcount stood at 9,080, compared with 9,100 at the end of fiscal 2014/2015. This modest reduction in absolute terms does not reflect the scale of personnel restructuring driven primarily by our Delta program, changes in the make-up of the consolidated group, and various acquisitions.
Group Headcount by Region.
Progress made in connection with the Delta program, which advanced faster than originally planned, is reflected in the adjustments to our personnel structure. Measures under the Delta program had envisaged downsizing of 1,100 jobs in total by the end of fiscal 2017/2018. By the end of fiscal 2015/2016, however, as many as 1,370 jobs had been cut or outsourced; according to the Company's original plans, the downsizing target set for this period had been 650 jobs. Over the fiscal year under review, the workforce was reduced by 900 across the Group as part of the program. At the same time, however, we recruited new staff and took on personnel as part of our corporate restructuring efforts.
Group Headcount by Function.
In the areas of Software Development and Professional Services we reduced the number of employees based in Western Europe and moved those positions to nearshoring locations in Poland and the Czech Republic. In addition, we cut the size of our workforce as part of adjustments to capacity levels and by outsourcing production capacity to external partners in Paderborn.
In China, after the formation of the joint venture Aisino Wincor (in which we have a minority shareholding), Wincor Nixdorf's former Chinese employees were re-employed by Aisino Wincor.
By contrast, the total number of Group employees was boosted by our takeover of the business activities of the Dutch cash-in-transit firm Brink's, our acquisition of a majority stake in the Belgian firm Projective, which specializes in the area of professional services, and the transfer of employees to Wincor Nixdorf from service station support companies in Germany and Poland. Additionally, there was an increase in the headcount at our subsidiary AEVI. The consolidated reporting entity, i.e., the companies making up the Wincor Nixdorf Group, increased once again with the addition of the Swiss firm CI Tech Sensors AG.
In Germany, the number of employees at the end of the year under review stood at 3,589 (2014/2015: 3,689). The number of staff employed outside Germany rose to 5,491 (2014/2015: 5,411). At the year-end, the proportion of staff employed in Germany stood at 40%, while the remaining 60% were employed outside Germany.
Preparing employees to meet the demands of the new structure.
The future viability of the new personnel structure depends crucially on the effective integration of employees. To this end, during the fiscal year under review, the priority for our initial and ongoing training measures was on preparing employees for new tasks and roles.
Focus on training in Software and Services.
As in the previous year we concentrated on training in the areas of Software and Services, with a particular focus on courses for our sales teams. We appointed a number of software engagement managers to boost the overall software expertise of the Company's sales force. Their role, in close consultation with account managers, will be to take responsibility for the entire software sales process.
We held a series of centrally organized product training courses to ensure that our staff have the required portfolio and product know-how. We also expanded our existing train-the-trainer concept to enhance the skills of our in-house trainers in areas such as Services.
Identifying and training the next generation of skilled workers.
Wincor Nixdorf introduced a dedicated system of talent spotting and development many years ago. With the help of this ongoing process, we identified a number of employees with the skills needed for leadership positions in the new personnel structure.
We also arranged project and lateral management training courses for our senior specialist staff to equip them for projects and tasks spanning a range of business units.
In addition, we are expanding our university partnerships in order to attract new people with the right skills from outside the Group as well. In one such measure, we organized a two-year familiarization program for talented graduates leading to supply chain project management roles.
We offer purposeful work experience activities, internships, and research positions on subjects relevant to the Company to students from a variety of disciplines in order to familiarize them with actual business practice. Our WinCareer program is designed to retain the interest of those students identified as potential recruits. Both during and after their work experience or internship, it gives them a more detailed insight into our Company as well as opportunities to receive individual career support and remain in contact with us.
Combining work and learning.
Alongside the comprehensive training packages available through our Learning Management System, we provide our staff with the tools they need to acquire new skills and knowledge independently. We favor modern approaches such as e-learning and blended learning. These combine traditional seminars and workshops at the training center with modern e-learning techniques and an increasing focus on video and online courses.