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LACK OF SKILLED LABOUR

Lack of skilled labour means that a large number of vacancies cannot be filled because there are not enough available workers. In some sectors, in particular, there is a shortage of highly-qualified employees. The sectors in which there is currently a lack of skilled labour in Germany are medicine, nursing, skilled trades and STEM professions (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). 

The effects of this lack of skilled labour can be severe for companies and ultimately for the economy in Germany as a whole, and can halt economic growth. The most important resource for companies is the human workforce. The skilled labour force is a big part of value creation. In some sectors, the lack of skilled labour has deteriorated to such an extent that companies can no longer offer their services due to a lack of necessary workers. 

The lack of skilled labour varies from region to region. Especially in rural and structurally weak regions there is a lack of skilled labour. 

One of the main causes of the lack of skilled labour is demographic change. Due to an ageing society and declining birth rates, fewer and fewer workers are available to the job market. Another reason for the lack of skilled labour is the increasing digitalisation and the associated change in job profiles. As a result of this development, more and more jobs for low-skilled personnel are being eliminated, while new professions emerge that require specialist knowledge. This mainly concerns jobs that can be also be done by machines. In their place, skilled professionals are needed who can programme the machines. 

Measures to counter the lack of skilled labour are the training and continued education of employees to meet the new requirements of digitalisation. Furthermore, companies can also actively contribute to winning skilled professionals by offering attractive working conditions. Especially employees who would like to work part-time or older employees often bring untapped potential to the table. Another big issue is the compatibility of family and work. The acquisition of foreign skilled workers is one way of meeting the demand for skilled professionals.