Shortage of more than 200,000 skilled workers for implementing Germany's energy transition - report
Clean Energy Wire / Handelsblatt
A shortage of more than 200,000 skilled workers threatens to slow down Germany’s energy transition, according to a report by the Institute of the German Economy (IW). For the expansion of solar and wind energy, around 216,000 additional skilled workers – especially electricians, heating and air-conditioning technicians, and IT specialists – are needed, the authors found. The “glaring shortage of skilled electricians is thus becoming the bottleneck of the energy transition,” the authors write. According to the report, recruiting more women, which are vastly underrepresented in many key jobs, and retraining workers from other fields could help alleviate the labour shortage. “In order not to jeopardise the energy transition, securing skilled labour must be a top priority for all parties involved,” report author Anika Jansen said, reports newspaper Handelsblatt.
The German government approved a new skilled labour strategy that includes measures to help companies and businesses attract and retain skilled workers in October. “The next eight years are decisive for Germany. During this time, we need to create the conditions so that the transformation we are talking about actually becomes a reality,” chancellor Olaf Scholz said, adding that turning the German economy into a climate-neutral and sustainable one is the single greatest task the country faces. Germany aims to generate 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and become climate neutral by 2045. “For this to happen, the number of skilled workers must increase accordingly,” the report’s authors write. The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) has called for uncomplicated immigration procedures for skilled workers. “Even in the current crisis, the shortage of skilled workers is the second biggest business risk for companies after energy costs,” DIHK president Peter Adrian said.