Hanover, Germany – Continental AG has warned that Germany is currently facing a major challenge with many employees being at the risk of losing their jobs due to “digitalisation, technological disruptions and the pandemic.”
“A number of industries are heading toward a permanent shortage of skilled workers – with significant consequences for the economic growth in Germany,” said Dr Ariane Reinhart, Continental’s executive board member for human relations 5 June.
According to Reinhart, Germany’s labour market will have sufficient workforce in the coming years to close the labour market gap if “the necessary framework conditions” are created.
“We need a master plan. We must use national workforce planning to determine which employees with which skills the German economy will need in five years,” urged Reinhart.
Reinhart recommended that a national advanced training plan must be created, initially offering apprenticeship positions as well as training programmes through universities, companies and government agencies.
“These are our levers to shape the transformation and structural change in Germany,” she said.
Lawmakers, she added, must also design financial bridges for employees so that they can embrace the transformation in the labour market.
Citing the German Federal Employment Agency, Conti said that the shortage of skilled workers will become more noticeable in Germany, once the acute phase of the Covid pandemic subsides.
“This is already clear in many places,” said the agency chairman Detlef Scheele, adding that there are around 18,000 vacancies in the IT sector in Germany.
A similar trend is also observed in nursing and hospital activities, and in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professions, he added.
“Short-time work income has also proven to be a useful tool to prevent unemployment, particularly during the pandemic,” said Scheele.
“But it cannot be the preferred method to achieve permanent solutions to structural problems,” he added, calling for short-time work to be linked with training measures “wherever it makes sense.”
Continental launched a comprehensive advanced training offensive in 2018 for the transformation of jobs and founded its own training centre the Continental Institute for Technology and Transformation (CITT) in 2019.
Currently more than 1,000 participants are receiving advanced training while paid full wage, according to Reinhart.
Conti, she added, aims to increase this number to over 2,000 participants in 2022.