21 Mar 2022, 12:08
Julian Wettengel

Lack of skilled workers major issue for German transition plans – opinion

Die Welt

The lack of skilled workers to install wind turbines, build train tracks or install heat pumps is a major hurdle to German government plans to transform the country’s economy in line with climate targets, writes Dorothea Siems in an opinion piece for Welt. “The building trade is already working at full capacity,” she writes. “The order books are full, and building materials are sometimes hard to come by. But the shortage of skilled workers is already the biggest problem for most companies.” Skilled workers from other countries would be welcome in Germany, but those countries often needed these themselves. Siems reasons that economy and climate minister Robert Habeck (Green Party) should align climate policy with “scientific labour market forecasts and – in the interests of security of supply – therefore decide to rely on traditional energy sources for a few years longer.”

In order to achieve Germany’s ambitious energy transition targets, the pace of wind and solar power expansion is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, but a lack of skilled personnel could hamper the plan. To reach the target of climate neutrality 2045, virtually all sectors of the economy have to be transformed, intensifying the need for skilled workers in many areas, from the car industry to forest protection.

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