Anja's overflow

Labor shortage and no rescue in sight

“How did you go bankrupt?” Ernest Hemingway was once asked. He replied, “In two ways. Gradually at first, then suddenly.”

This laconic style is currently encountered in various crisis scenarios:

  • The climate crisis has been denied for a long time – now many are resigning themselves to the fact that nothing can be done now anyway.
  • The same applies to demographic change: it has long been foreseeable that the boomer generation will one day retire and leave gaps in the labor market. Now this very process is underway – and there is great anxiety as to how this change might be met constructively.

The article recommended here (including video) with many facts and statistics, especially broken down to Brandenburg and Berlin shows the many problems in the labor market. Not only is this experienced workforce breaking away in many industries. Young people are also reluctant to take on this kind of work. The famous shortage of skilled workers is hitting harder than feared – and the solutions are no longer obvious.

That’s how you fiddle around in many different places:

  • 400,000 immigrants willing to work would be needed – per year!
  • More hours worked per part-time employee aka women (if every part-time employee in Germany worked just 1 hour more per week, this would be equivalent to 60,000 more full-time employees)
  • Better continuing education in the event of unemployment (reform of citizen’s income)
  • Enabling more people to receive vocational training
  • Discussion of the pension at 70
  • Finally, tackle the sacred cow: Enable easier recognition of foreign degrees and work experience.

“The government plans to open the labor market to skilled workers who have an employment contract but not yet a degree recognized in this country. They could then catch up on this with the help of their German employer.

Unlike in the past, proof of a degree and professional experience will be sufficient for entry. The recognition process could then be pursued after entry and in parallel with work.”

(Of course, nothing works in Germany without a degree …)

Finally, reference is made to job losses due to automation and digitalization, but the deficit of suitable employees is still four times higher than the loss of jobs, according to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Of course, this is also due to the slow digitization and lack of smartness of the local system. While autonomous trucks and cars are about to take off elsewhere, we continue to think about how to add new workers to the trucking and passenger transportation industries. Or can continue to manage administrative services manually in the future – with more staff.

What it would actually take, however, would be a show of strength on how we could all join forces to pool our few resources and seek new, transformative solutions to solve the challenges of our time in an intelligent and timely manner. Everyone would have to move here. Not only the employed, but also the companies and organizations, the chambers, the education system and, first and foremost, the political establishment. But maybe the suffering pressure is still not high enough and we are still at the: “Only gradually.”

Article on November 7, 2022 published on piqd as a reference to the rbb24 article A country retires

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