Does the economy need more math than demographics?
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Professions in the trade, the metal and electrical industry and the MINT area are particularly affected. In addition, some health professions, such as elderly care, have long been among the bottleneck professions and show a widespread shortage of skilled workers.
In many places, problems with filling vacancies have already become the norm, as the competence center securing skilled workers shows in an interactive map. While in 2011 43 percent of all jobs were advertised in bottleneck occupations, in 2018 79 percent of all vacancies were advertised in occupations in which there was a shortage of skilled workers (KOFA study 2/2019).
One reason for the worsening situation on the labor market is the demographic change and the associated aging of the labor force: The baby boomers of the post-war period, the so-called baby boomers, are gradually retiring, while significantly fewer young people are moving up. Since young people today are not only fewer, but also more often have a high school diploma and go to university, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable junior staff, especially in professions that require a training or advanced training qualification. According to the Federal Institute for Vocational Training, the demand from young people for dual training positions therefore reached a new low in 2019.
Vocational training is particularly in demand
It is precisely skilled workers who have completed their vocational training who are most often missing. But there is also an increasing shortage of specialists with masters or bachelor's degrees and experts in certain professional groups. The health sector - especially care for the elderly and the sick - are severely affected by the shortage of skilled workers. The need for carers for the elderly will continue to increase as society ages. But there is also a lack of qualified personnel for occupational groups for which technical or manual training is required. In addition to doctors, there is also a lack of engineers and IT specialists in the expert area - important professional groups who are helping to shape Germany's economic future.
The areas particularly affected by skilled labor shortages include:
- Academic professional groups in the fields of medicine, engineering in mechanical and vehicle construction, electrical engineering, IT and software development and programming.
- Craft: electrical installation and assembly, machining technology, plastics processing, pipeline construction, welding technology, mechanical engineering.
- Nursing: health, sick and elderly care.
Therefore, the dual training in Germany must be strengthened. This is a collective task. For this reason, the federal government, the Federal Employment Agency, the private sector, trade unions and the federal states came together at the end of 2014 in the alliance for training and further education and renewed it in August 2019. Together, the alliance partners want to empower and win over even more young people for one of the more than 300 apprenticeships.
There is a shortage of skilled workers in the south - but the situation is also worsening in the east
The shortage of skilled workers does not only differ according to occupational group - there are also regional differences. The economically strong federal states in southern Germany are particularly affected. In Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg, the share of jobs in bottleneck occupations is greatest at 86-88 percent, as the KOFA federal state profiles show. But also in Thuringia, Lower Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate, more than every eighth position is now advertised in a bottleneck occupation.
The KOFA's interactive map makes it clear that the bottlenecks are not extensive, but that certain regions are particularly hard hit.
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