Press release

Risk of widespread skilled labour shortages by the year 2030 in the technical occupations

BIBB and IAB Regional Qualification and Occupational Field Projections

13/2015 | Bonn, 14.04.2015

Risk of widespread skilled labour shortages by the year 2030 in the technical occupations

If current trends in the training and labour market continue in the future, there will be skilled labour shortages in all regions of Germany by the year 2030 in the technical occupations, which usually require a vocational qualification. This is shown for the first time by the regional results of the joint qualification and occupational field projections compiled by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB).

Germany's regions will be affected by the skilled labour shortages in very differing degrees in the long term as a result of the currently prevailing economic and demographic point of departure. However, almost all regions are expecting a shortfall in skilled labour holding medium-ranking training qualifications by the year 2030. Baden-Württemberg is the exception here, as completing vocational training there is traditionally of great importance and very few young people leave the education system without a qualification. According to the authors, it is only in the east of Germany that a shortage of academic graduates is expected.

The results for the individual regions are also very different on a professional level – the distinction is made between 20 so-called extended main occupational fields. There are, according to the pro-jections, above all shortfalls looming in occupations which require a vocational or advanced qualifi-cation. This will be felt over a wide area in the technical occupations. Examples of these occupations include electrical engineering technicians, construction technicians, surveying technicians and technical draughtsmen as well as chemical, biological and physics laboratory assistants. However, they will not all be affected to the same extent. It is expected that regional development will differ on the level of these individual occupations.

Although a shortfall situation has been calculated in the healthcare professions on a federal level, it will not arise in all regions. At the same time, the projections show that there will be a comprehensive excess supply of labour in the commercial services and teaching professions, trade in goods management assistants and the legal and economic professions.

In detail: The region North (Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein) will still be more concentrated on agriculture, transport and warehousing than the other regions in 2030. While shortfalls are possible in the agricultural occupations, work supply in the traffic, warehousing and transport occupations will be able to meet the demand. Along with the technical occupations, there will mainly be recruiting difficulties in the construction occupations in this region.

Due to stronger qualification in the healthcare sector, the North and North Rhine-Westphalia will be the only regions with an oversupply of labour for the healthcare professions. Shortfalls in the construction occupations are also probable in North Rhine-Westphalia, along with the technical occupations.

The economic structure in the region West-Central (Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland) will also be shaped by the finance and insurance sector in 2030. There will be an oversupply of skilled labour in the particularly prevalent commercial occupation areas and legal and economic professions.

In contrast to the other regions, the population in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria is growing. The driving force behind the economic growth in these two regions in 2030 will be the manufacturing industry. There will be an oversupply of skilled labour in the occupations involved with the operation and maintenance of machinery and plants and the IT and science professions, the dominant occupations in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Comparably few main occupational fields will be affected by skilled labour shortages at all in Bavaria.

Healthcare will form the largest sector in the new federal states (including Berlin) from 2020 onwards. One reason for this is the demographic change, which will bring about the greatest decline in population in all regions by 2030. The sharp decrease in supply will also increase recruitment difficulties in most main occupational fields.

The shortfalls or surpluses forecast in the projections should not be taken as inevitable. According to the authors: “The projections show which development path we will be on by 2030 if current trends continue into the future.” More regional mobility and professional flexibility could, for example, partly offset the skilled labour shortages and supply.

The BIBB/IAB occupational field projections are compiled jointly by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) with the cooperation of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT) and the Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS). The study can be found online at http://doku.iab.de/kurzber/2015/kb0915.pdf

For more information and data on the BIBB/IAB qualification and occupational field projections, visit www.qube-projekt.de

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