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Securing skilled workers - maintaining prosperity

Even today many places are desperately searching for skilled workers, especially engineers and doctors. These problems will continue to increase with demographic change we are getting older and there will be fewer of us. If we do not take counteraction now, the potential workforce will shrink by up to 6.5 million in the next 15 years.

Small and medium-sized businesses in particular fear that the search for suitable personnel will be difficult for them in the future. The shortage of skilled workers will then be painfully apparent across all industries and regions with consequences for all employees. For if there is a lack of skilled workers, this also reduces the opportunities for people with lower qualifications: if an engineering position remains vacant, there is also no work for the engineering draughtsman, secretary and cleaning staff.

"The shortage of skilled workers is the challenge of the next few years. We have no time to lose ... The key question is: who can afford the work of tomorrow? ... Whichever way you look at it: we will not be able to fill the shortfall just from the local workforce. We also need well-qualified skilled workers from Europe and non-member countries, especially in the professions where there are shortages. We can only be successful if the State and industry create an ideal framework and there is a welcoming culture in society. If we are willing to learn from other countries that were more successful in their qualified immigration ... If the State, its social partners and companies do the right thing, we can turn Germany into a country of new opportunities: family-friendly, age-appropriate and open-minded. Our social market economy will then have a good future."

(Quote from the Federal Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, Dr. Ursula von der Leyen)

Source:  www.bmas.de

The Federal Government's five safety measures

Activation and securing employment

The focus here is on the integration of older people into the employment market. Older employees have professional know-how acquired over many years and a wealth of experience.  

Companies are also called upon to encourage the longer employment of older people in the employment market. Older people can remain with companies for longer if they offer age-appropriate work, a forward-looking work organisation and working arrangements as well as precisely tailored training and the promotion of health and safety in the workplace.

The activation and integration of unemployed people, the "hidden reserves," is also of great importance for securing the demand for skilled workers through targeted qualification and professional mobility.

Better reconciliation between family life and work

The aim is to extend the current working hours of employed women and to increase this in the longer term. Women with children are only employed in a limited capacity. The reasons for this are the inadequate support provided by the childcare infrastructure and in the care of relatives as well as the lack of flexibility in working hours.

The expansion of all-day schools facilitates the reconciliation between family life and work. The importance of family-friendliness plays an essential role for more and more companies. For example, they encourage family-friendly working environments in companies in the interest of mothers, fathers and children.

Educational opportunities for all from the outset

The education and training of children and young people is a key element in securing the skilled workers of the future. This affects all areas of the educational path, from early childhood education and schooling through to professional training.  

The promotion of education and training will pay off on the whole in the long run for children's life and development opportunities for society.

Qualification: education and training

The commercial success of a company often depends on the qualifications of its employees. They therefore need to invest in the next generation, train young people and retain them in their jobs by offering attractive training and working conditions and career opportunities.

A smooth introduction to the company must also be encouraged in particular to those young people on apprenticeships who have difficulties in the transition to professional training. This generally involves previously unsuccessful applicants, migrant workers, socially disadvantaged and disabled young people as well as those with learning difficulties.  

High-level academic training as well as an improvement in the quality of studying are achieved and encouraged through the creation of new places to study. An ever increasing number of new further continuing education opportunities are also being introduced in the area of continuing education for people who are or were in work and therefore make an important contribution to securing the supply of skilled workers in Germany.

Integration and qualified immigration

As a cosmopolitan country, Germany needs qualified migrant workers in order to secure the demand for skilled workers. Skilled workers with a migrant background can also become valuable employees for companies due to their additional linguistic and cultural know-how.

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