Companies demand immigration, 1.2 million workers wanted

According to a new study, the shortage of skilled workers is greatest in the field of social pedagogy. According to data from the Institute of the German Economy (IW), which was made available to "Welt am Sonntag" (WamS), the so-called skills gap for social pedagogues is 18,300. This is the difference between job advertisements and job seekers with a suitable profile. It is similarly large for geriatric nurses (17,900) and nurses (16,700).

The list of 15 occupations also includes construction electricians (15,500), plumbing, heating, and air conditioning technicians (13,200), and truck drivers (6,700). The absolute numbers of missing workers are therefore likely to be considerably higher. The IW calculated its figures by comparing the jobs registered with the Federal Employment Agency and the unemployed with suitable qualifications. Only the difference is shown as a skilled labor gap. However, job advertisements and potential candidates often do not match at all - for example, because of spatial distances or other hurdles.

The IW placed a special focus on truck drivers. When the Corona crisis brought the economy to a partial standstill, the shortage of skilled professional drivers briefly dropped to zero. According to the IW, it is therefore remarkable that there is now already a shortage of thousands again - and the trend is rising sharply. The demographic problem is dramatic here: only 13.6 percent of drivers were under 35 years old at last count.

The average for all employees subject to social insurance contributions is 29.3 percent. So there is a shortage of young talent."This will put the brakes on future economic upswings," says IW skilled labor expert Alexander Burstedde. Countermeasures need to be taken now. The expert warns, "Otherwise, we are threatened with conditions like those currently prevailing in Great Britain."

In the UK, there has been a shortage of fuel at many gas pumps in recent weeks due to a shortage of tanker drivers. In addition, there is a shortage of slaughterhouse workers, which is causing farmers to fear for the sale of their animals. Because of logistical problems, many supermarket shelves remain unfilled.

According to the employment agency, there is a shortage of personnel in dozens of professions in Germany. "A total of about 1.2 million workers, two-thirds of them skilled workers, are currently being sought," Detlef Scheele, head of the Federal Labor Agency, told WamS. In about 70 professions, he said, there are already personnel shortages at the "skilled worker level."

To combat the shortage of skilled workers, SMEs are urgently calling for more immigration of skilled workers from abroad. "More and more companies in all sectors are currently finding neither skilled workers nor trainees.

This poses a fundamental threat to the competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses and thus to Germany as a business location as a whole," Markus Jerger, the national managing director of the German Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW), told the newspapers of the Funke media group. "We need the targeted immigration of skilled workers."

Accordingly, many companies are already having to turn down orders due to a lack of skilled workers, Jerger said. The situation is no better when it comes to trainees, he added. "There are more than 390 recognized training occupations in Germany, and there is a shortage of new trainees in almost all of them." According to Jerger, for example, nearly 60,000 training positions could not be filled at the start of the 2020 training year.

However, according to another IW study, there is also a lack of professional recruitment of skilled workers in companies. "Only 32.4 percent of all companies engage in distinctly strategic HR work," revealed a study of 1433 companies by the Competence Center for Skilled Workforce Assurance (Kofa) of the IW Cologne.It would be important to conduct targeted analyses of one's own strengths and weaknesses and to develop new ways of recruiting and qualifying employees. The smaller the companies, the less developed their human resources work.


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