There are alarming figures for small and medium-sized hightech entities which play a particular important role in the German economy: Prof. Eike Lehmann, chairman of the association of german engineers (VDI), in his recent presentation of current figures concerning the labour market for engineers laments a substantial shortage of engineers. According to these figures, about 22.000 vacancies for engineers cannot be staffed at the moment. In the short run this shortage could only be compensated for by a better integration of women and older jobless engineers into the market, whereas in the long run better conditions for immigration should be created.
According to VDI the kinds of engineers most sought after by employers are experts at mechanical, electrical and civic engineering as well as architects. Most vacancies are to be staffed in North Rhine-Westphalia (4.200 vacancies), Bavaria (3.900) and Baden-Wurttemberg (3.800).
According to the VDI the lack of engineers has large-scale negative effects on the Germany economy as a whole. „Each missing engineer entails 2.3 jobs not being created in the research and trade sectors which means that in total we miss out on more than 70.000 jobs and their value added which amounts to 3.7 billion Euros in terms of revenues not being realized” says the VDI chairman.
The VDI director, Dr. Willi Fuchs, calls for more women and older jobless people to be activated or re-activated. There were 30.000 jobless engineers in Germany. Their re-integration would help the economy to staff vacancies.
In the medium-term Fuchs favours immigration of experts from abroad. „But our immigration laws have to be adapted to our needs. The current 84.000 Euros minimum salary limit for a would-be immigrating engineer to meet is counterproductive. And the obstacles to be surmounted by foreign entrepreneurs are too high. To date these have to invest at least one million Euros and create ten new jobs each in Germany. This deters many of them”, explained the VDI director the current obstacles facing qualified would-be immigrants.