Berlin At a summit meeting on September 7th with trade unions and business associations, the federal government wants to discuss ways to Securing the need for skilled workers to advise. “We must do everything to ensure that the shortage of skilled workers does not slow down our economy,” said Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) on Monday.
For many companies, the search for skilled workers “will remain a major, sometimes even an existential challenge in the years to come”. Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) and Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) are also taking part on behalf of the federal government.
The employers’ association BDA is represented by chief executive Steffen Kampeter, while the German trade union federation sends board member Anja Piel.
According to a study commissioned by the Ministry of Labor for the period 2022 to 2026, the main reason for the shortage of skilled workers will be the increasing aging of society.
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“Despite the current negative economic outlook, the consequences of demographic change will dominate in the medium term, in particular the continuing retirement of the baby boomer generation from working life,” says the report by three research institutes on the monitoring of skilled workers.
escape from Ukraine reduces the skills gap
However, the gap in skilled workers calculated by 2026 of around 240,000 people from new demand and supply is less than half as large as expected for 2025 last year (540,000 people). This is due to the higher labor supply, for example from refugees from Ukraine, and the lower economic growth. As a result of fleeing Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the researchers also expect the population in Ukraine to grow to 84.4 million Germany in 2026.
More and more employers will therefore still have difficulties in covering their need for skilled workers. In 87 out of 140 occupational groups, new demand will grow faster than new supply by 2026. Recruiting skilled workers is also becoming more difficult.
The bottleneck occupations include occupations with a strong job structure such as IT or education and health occupations as well as occupations with a high, demographically-related replacement requirement – such as in technical training occupations. In the construction industry, a high demand for replacements goes hand in hand with an increasing need for new ones due to the upcoming construction projects.
According to skilled labor monitoring, however, there are also “surplus occupations” in which job cuts are to be expected. In retail, for example, there will be job cuts due to the sharp increase in online business. There is also an oversupply of potential applicants for teaching and research activities at universities.