According to a survey conducted by the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Germany, about 56% of companies report a staff shortage. The respondents consider staffing shortages one of the biggest risks they face.
Details. The Federal Employment Agency notes a shortage of specialists in 148 industries, another 122 are under threat. For example, it may take eight months for a nursing home to find an employee. For construction companies, the wait is six months. More than 1.7 million vacancies have been opened across the country.
Reasons. Germany annually loses about 350,000 people of working age. The generation of baby boomers born immediately after World War II is retiring, and there are not enough young people to fill their positions. According to labor experts, by 2035 there will be 7 million fewer workers on the German labor market.
Germany has already tried to change the immigration law to attract foreigners. The amendments adopted in 2020 were designed to encourage the 400,000 foreign workers Germany needs every year to come and stay in the country. However, in the first year they attracted only 30,000 people.
Reform. The German government intends to reform the immigration law and outline its key provisions as early as September 2022. The proposed changes include opening up the labor market to those who have a contract, even if they do not have a recognized certification. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Labor Minister Hubertus Heil said that German employers can help their employees get the necessary training.
Quote. "Now the state decides who is suitable for employment in a German company. But this is the wrong position," said Marcus Winter, director of the IDS employment agency.
According to him, companies already hire untrained workers, and then help them to undergo on-the-job training. He estimates the share of such companies at about 20%.
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