13 Jan 2023, 13:35
Julian Wettengel

Transformation of German economy at risk due to skills shortage – DIHK

Clean Energy Wire

Germany is facing a severe skills shortage to key economic transformation efforts, in areas such as e-mobility and renewable energy, the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce said (DIHK) based on a survey of 22,000 companies. Fifty-three percent of surveyed companies say they are affected by personnel shortages, and that share is even higher in industries key for the transition to climate neutrality, said DIHK. For example, 67 percent of electrical equipment manufacturers are unable to fill vacancies. Among data processing equipment production — makers of electronic and optical products — this number is 63 percent. In mechanical engineering it’s 67 percent and in vehicle manufacturing it’s up to 65 percent of firms. The bottlenecks in construction-adjacent industries such as architecture and engineering (58 percent) were also likely to make it more difficult to achieve targets in areas such as climate-friendly refurbishment, the installation of wind turbines, housing construction and the maintenance and expansion of transport and communications infrastructure, the industry chamber said. “The lack of skilled workers is not only a burden on businesses, but also jeopardises the success of important tasks for the future: Energy transition, digitalisation and infrastructure development – above all for these tasks we need people with practical expertise,” said DIHK deputy managing director Achim Dercks.

Over the past few months, several reports by research institutes and associations in various key sectors for the move to climate neutrality have sounded the alarm over skill shortages. Effects range from becoming a cyber security risk for energy suppliers to hindering the energy-efficient renovation of the country’s existing building stock.

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