A recent study (02/2017) entitled ‘ and conducted by the Centre of Excellence on Skilled Labour (KOFA) has shown that it is now commonplace for companies in many regions to have difficulty recruiting the staff they need. Between 2011 and 2016, the share of jobs advertised for professionals whose skills-set is short in supply rose from 4 in 10 to 1 in 2. In many regions, the problem is exacerbated by the fact that many companies’ workforces are of an advanced age and that there are not enough young people with the desired qualifications. In fact, the number of vacant places for vocational training is also on the rise, both in the south of Germany, the country’s economic powerhouse, and in the east, which is hit hardest by demographic change.
The occupations particularly affected by skills shortages include:
- Graduate occupations in the field of medicine, mechanical and automotive engineering, electrical engineering, supply and waste management, IT and software development/programming, STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).
- Crafts trades: electricians/electrical installers, plumbers, lathe-operators, toolmakers, plastics process workers, pipe fitters, welders, mechanical technicians.
- Care services: Healthcare and care for the elderly.
In some regions, demographic change is already having a visible impact on the labour market. The shortage of skilled labour is felt the most in Germany’s south, the country’s economic powerhouse. A recent study conducted by the Centre of Excellence on Skilled Labour (KOFA) found that two thirds of all jobs advertised in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are professionals whose skills-set is in short supply. And the situation is not improving. Over the past five years, the east of Germany has also been hit hard by a skills gap.
This finding was also corroborated by the According to this study, 36 per cent of the skilled jobs advertised in the first semester of 2016 were still vacant at the date of survey. This means that the share of jobs companies were unable to recruit for was once again higher in eastern Germany than in western Germany (2016: 30 per cent). In addition to this, approx. one third of vocational training places also remained vacant as there were no suitable applicants.