On the day of skilled trades: a shortage of skilled workers in one in three skilled trades

In the past three years, the number of shortage occupations in the skilled trades has increased. The BA now identifies a shortage of skilled workers in one in three skilled trades.

14 Sep 2023 | Press release no.43

Shortages in one in three skilled trades

Increasing numbers of skilled trades are classified by the BA as shortage occupations. As recently as 2019, the BA identified 56 of a total of 177 occupations as shortage occupations. In 2022, there were 68. This is equivalent to an increase of 32 percent to 38 percent for occupations in the skilled trades. 

Occupations affected in several areas

The affected occupations include construction electronics, automotive technology and electrical operating technology as well as plumbing, heating and air conditioning technology.

80 percent of reported vacancies are shortage occupations in the skilled trades

In August 2023, 138,000 job vacancies for these occupations were reported to the BA. Over 111,000 of these were vacancies for skilled workers in one of the shortage occupations. This means that difficulties in filling job vacancies can be expected for more than 80 percent of the reported vacancies. 

The BA supports companies and applicants

The placement specialists at the federal employment agencies and Jobcenters support the recruitment to apprenticeships in the skilled trades and help companies find new apprentices. As of August, companies have notified the BA of approximately 108,000 open vacancies in the current year of apprenticeships. Vocational training fairs, careers and information events are also being held in the regions, frequently in cooperation with the local chambers of commerce. The BA also supports the recruitment to the skilled trades at the international level. The Central Placement Office (ZAV) of the BA recruits foreign applicants who are interested in working as skilled workers or apprentices in Germany, including in the skilled trades.

Information on the analysis of shortage occupations by the BA is available on our statistics page (available in German).

Statistical information: all statements are approximations. This is because the reported job vacancies do not specify whether they are skilled trades or not. Our classification only takes place according to the job titles. Some occupations can be clearly assigned to the skilled trades, while others cannot. The specific occupational aggregate of the “skilled trades” therefore consists of the “typical” occupational categories (5-digit) of the KldB2010 for trained persons who work in the skilled trades. 

The occupations in detail are listed on our statistics page (available in German).