Construction sector: skilled workers urgently required

BIBB President Esser: "System of dual vocational education and training must be strengthened"

In the Coalition agreement, the governing parties – the SPD, Alliance 90/The Greens and FDP – agreed to increase housing annually to 400,000 homes, a quarter of which would be publicly funded. However, findings from the latest studies of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in cooperation with the Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS) show that achieving the goal of increased housing could be hampered by a lack of skilled workers. Other goals contained in the coalition agreement, including the implementation of climate protection by means of energy-related building renovation, will further increase the demand for qualified skilled workers. This is because these goals also stimulate demand for construction work. 

Of the top 15 types of jobs classified as shortage professions, twelve fall within the construction sector or one of its upstream supplier industries. Companies are therefore facing huge difficulties in filling skilled worker positions, in particular in construction and civil engineering, in energy technology and in the areas of plumbing, sanitary, heating and air conditioning systems. Also affected are construction, finishing and dry wall installation, insulation, carpentry, glazing, and roller shutter and sunshade engineering.

"In order to prevent delays in achieving goals in the area of building and housing, the dual vocational education and training system must be strengthened," emphasised BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser. "Overcoming the skilled worker shortage will be one of the greatest challenges of this decade. Besides the construction sector, for example, demand for skilled workers in the health sector will also rise significantly over the coming years. The skilled worker strategy and the national continuing education and training strategy therefore need to be continued, participation in the labour market by women and the elderly needs to be increased, opportunities for changing career in professional life need to be improved and support for qualified immigration to Germany needs to be expanded."

 Source: press release of the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), revised by iMOVE, March 2022