Germany’s ambitious climate plans threatened by labour shortages
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
The new German government’s ambitious climate and construction goals could be held back by a shortage of skilled workers, newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reports. Plans laid out by the new coalition government include solar panels to be installed on every roof, wind power to grow to 30 gigawatts, and hundreds of thousands of new flats to be built each year. However, according to the Federal Institute for Vocational Training, an additional 94,000 workers will be needed in the construction sector by 2025, even without the added climate projects. "According to our estimates, before the pandemic, about 250,000 jobs in the skilled trades could not be filled because the companies could not find suitable qualified skilled workers," says Hans Peter Wollseifer, president of the German confederation of skilled crafts (ZDH). "You don't have to be a prophet to foresee that we won't be able to manage all the additional projects, especially in climate and environmental protection, with the current workforce."
The lack of workers is due to a mixture of factors including an ageing population, a lack of suitable vocational education and young people’s preference for academic study over skilled trades. Various solutions are being suggested, from increased promotion of vocational careers to better recognition of migrants’ qualifications.