IIn the skilled trades there are currently almost 40,000 unfilled training positions. “I can only encourage young people: Use these 40,000 opportunities and start an apprenticeship,” said the President of the Central Association of German Crafts (ZDH), Jörg Dittrich of the newspaper Rheinische Post. “Because of the great need for skilled craftsmen for the transformations, we need everyone in the crafts.” However, it is difficult for crafts businesses to find enough applicants. The need is particularly great in the air conditioning professions, i.e. for heating, sanitary and air conditioning, for electricians, in general in construction, but also in the food or in the craft health professions.
The Skilled Immigration Act can only help solve the problem, said Dittrich. “We have to concentrate much more on raising the domestic potential for skilled workers. More women must be given the opportunity to work full-time. We have to do more to make work and children compatible.” The transition from school to training no longer works properly either. According to the microcensus, there are currently around 600,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 who left school but did not find a job or vocational training afterwards. “Where have they gone? Politicians urgently need to look more closely here.”
Dittrich is therefore calling for fundamental social reforms based on the model of the red-green reform agenda of 2010. “For example, I don’t understand why the younger generation should pay for the increasing life expectancy of pensioners on their own. We can no longer afford to ignore increasing life expectancy when it comes to retirement age.” Companies groaned under the excessive bureaucracy at almost all levels, and the education system urgently needed to be reformed. “And social insurance is the thickest of these reform boards.” As a wage-intensive area, handicrafts contribute disproportionately to the financing of the social systems. “It can’t stay like this, these burdens have to be distributed fairly.”