Nursing Day: Despite a shortage of skilled personnel, the number of employees in care professions is rising

• The number of employees also rose during the pandemic • The shortage of skilled personnel remains quite severe • The BA is promoting retraining and is entering into cooperation agreements on fair migration

10 May 2022 | Press release no.23

More people employed in geriatric care and healthcare

The number of people employed in geriatric and healthcare continued to rise despite the pandemic. In 2021, there were around 1.67 million employees subject to social insurance contributions, around 44,300 more than a year ago. Within one year, the number of persons employed in geriatric care rose by around 12,700 to 627,900, in healthcare by 31,600 to 1.04 million. The increase is spread over both full-time and part-time employees.

Since 2017, the number of employees subject to social insurance contributions rose by nine percent in healthcare, which is above average, and by twelve percent in geriatric care. The increase across all occupational groups was around five percent.

There is a six-months delay in the availability of statistical employment data. The effects of the institution-specific vaccine mandate, which has been in effect since the middle of March, is not yet included in the data. However, the unemployment registrations from the care professions have so far been rather low. A significant influence on the number of employees is therefore not expected.

Skilled personnel scarcity in healthcare and geriatric care

The BA has registered a substantial shortage of skilled personnel for both healthcare and geriatric care. There are currently only 5,400 unemployed persons with corresponding skills for 12,900 registered vacancies for skilled personnel in healthcare. In geriatric care, only 3,300 unemployed people are registered for 12,500 vacancies. In contrast with this, there are substantially more applicants than vacancies for geriatric nursing assistants and healthcare nursing assistants.

BA supports retraining and recruits from other countries

Since 2017, the BA has sponsored a total of 37,500 advanced vocational training places for nursing staff. This support has been provided to people both with and without employment.

The BA is also helping to find skilled personnel and nursing trainees abroad. One focus of this is the program “Triple Win.” Together with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) the BA is cooperating with the countries Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Philippines, Tunisia, Indonesia and India. So far, a total of 3,561 skilled personnel and 198 trainees have taken up employment and/or training in Germany in the framework of this program. The BA puts a strong emphasis on fair migration in this scheme and only works together with countries that do not themselves suffer from a shortage of nursing staff.

BA presents special issue on care occupations

On the occasion of the “Nursing Day,” the BA is issuing a special publication containing information on, for example, employees, jobs, the skilled labor situation and remuneration in care professions. This publication can be downloaded for free.

Background – Nursing Profession Reform Act affects statistics

In 2020, to make employment in nursing more attractive and to facilitate changes between fields, the Nursing Profession Reform Act subsumed training in healthcare, nursing and geriatric care under the term “Pflegefachkraft” (nursing specialist). Because of this, it is increasingly difficult to differentiate clearly between healthcare and geriatric care nursing for statistical purposes. It will therefore no longer be possible to continue making this distinction in the coming years.