20 Mar 2024, 13:41
Sören Amelang

80 percent of German utilities expect worsening of skills shortage - survey

Clean Energy Wire

One in two German utilities are finding it difficult to attract new employees, and four out of five companies in the sector expect the problem to worsen in the near future and slow down the country’s energy transition, a survey by sector association BDEW has shown. “On the one hand, many new jobs are being created by the new technologies and the necessary restructuring of the energy system, while at the same time a generational change is imminent in the energy industry and many positions will need to be filled in the coming years,” the lobby group said. Vacancies currently remain unfilled for around four months on average, but companies expect this period to increase to six months in the future.

Most companies (73%) cited demographic change as the main cause of the skills shortage, followed by an increase in personnel requirements due to the transformation (56%) and increasing complexity (48%). The labour shortage is most acute in skilled personnel, according to BDEW. “The vast majority of companies in the sector (85%) assume that the energy transition will be delayed if the skills gap persists. In addition, around half of the companies (53%) expect costs to rise.” Companies in the sector can compensate for the skills gap to some extent by increasing efficiency, for example through new technologies, process digitalisation and new forms of organisation, but this also requires highly specialised skilled workers, according to the press release.

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