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Why Germany needs a welcoming culture
Illustrated notes from a changing country / #41
Good morning from Germany,
Are you looking for a job? Come to Germany.
Employees are wanted on every corner. There is hardly a business that does not advertise with being an attractive employer.
Why do they advertise?
There is a lack of skilled workers. Across all professions, there is currently a shortage of almost 540,000 skilled workers in Germany – and the trend is rising.
Where is the greatest shortage?
It's in the following areas: social work and social pedagogy, childcare and crafts. In the latter, the areas of structural electronics, sanitary, heating and air-conditioning technology, and automotive technology are particularly badly affected.
The reason for the lack of man- and womenpower is best seen here:
The chart shows the age structure in Germany. And you can see that the most populous cohorts are about to retire.
So Germany needs more people in employment.
The good thing is that the number of future employees is not God-given. It depends on today's decisions. The following second and final chart for today (promised) clarifies that:
The chart shows both the past and the forecast development of the labour force potential in Germany (I took the chart from here).
The coloured lines show the different scenarios. The labour force potential can decrease to different extents, but it could also increase.
What do the different future developments depend on?
First, and mainly, it depends on how many people join the labour market in Germany.
With 400,000 additional people migrating to the German labour market each year, the labour force potential could even increase (Scenario 4).
However, these numbers are net numbers. People are also leaving Germany. The economist Monika Schnitzer, well-known in Germany, has calculated that 1.5 million people would have to immigrate to Germany yearly to keep the workforce constant.
In order for the goal to be achieved, Germany needs a change in mentality, Schnitzer admonished (“We urgently need a welcoming culture").
Currently net migration into the labour market is not 400,000 but 100,000 (which reflects scenario 3 in the chart above).
The good news: Politics is aware that something has to change. For example, the Bundestag recently passed a new law on the immigration of skilled workers to make it easier to enter the German labour market.
But more immigration is not the only adjusting screw.
For example, we need better schools, better education. Every tenth German between the ages of 18 and 24 is neither in work nor in any form of training or study. That is almost 590,000 young people.
What will probably also have to change: Germans will have to retire later (currently, they retire on average at 64.4).
Final question: Does this shortage of skilled workers also have a positive aspect?
Sure. My country is becoming increasingly employee-friendly, simply because there are fewer employees. Market power is shifting. One result, the many people still working from home after the Corona pandemic (only 29 per cent of Germans are required to be present in the office).
Greetings from Germany,
Tell your friends!
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