500,000 STEM positions are vacant
In October 2018, German industry registered a shortage of 337,900 workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The skills shortage in these fields has doubled in the last three years.16 Dec 2018 David Schahinian
According to the STEM Autumn Report by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW), 42,000 or 14.3% more positions are currently available compared to October 2017. The Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA) is thus pushing for swift implementation of the Digital Pact School , whose primary objective is the establishment of digital education infrastructures. According to the IW Cologne, although immigrants and the qualification of older workers brought some relief, this was not sufficient to close the gap.
The BDA emphasizes that STEM is the basis for research and innovation in the metals and electrical industry. The proportion of young people with STEM training is nevertheless shrinking from one year to the next. Almost 10,000 apprenticeship positions remained vacant in 2017 alone. The report lists several recommended actions: for example, reinforcing vocational training or higher education orientation, ensuring the availability of STEM teachers and improving the use of computers in schools.
The newspaper "Die Welt" had already reported back in April that the shortage of skilled workers could cost Germany about 30 billion euros. The newspaper also quotes labor market researcher Enzo Weber from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) as saying: "The situation could also bring about the end of certain companies."
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