Labour minister warns of future skilled worker shortage

Labour minister warns of future skilled worker shortage
Photo: DPA
German Labour Minister Olaf Scholz urged industries on Friday to open up more training and apprenticeship positions despite the current recession.

“The crisis should not be allowed to force companies to train less this year,” Scholz told daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Reducing traineeships “punishes the wrong people,” he said. “The young people who get out of school this year can’t do anything about the crisis.”

Continuing to offer such positions to young workers will stem what Scholz predicts to be a severe shortage in skilled labour as German the population shrinks.

“In some areas of German it’s already apparent that in a maximum of five years, training positions will remain open because applicants from low-birth age groups are missing,” he told the paper.

This threat means businesses would be well-advised to take on more young apprentices, “even though who aren’t among the best in their class.”

Scholz has encouraged German companies to create 600,000 new training contracts for 2009, but in June trade associations refused to set a concrete number for the year.

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