A recent industry barometer by the Federal Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media, the so-called BITKOM index, not only measured expectations regarding turnover, but also trends concerning the labour market. According to the BITKOM president, Mr. Willi Berchtold, at the end of 2006 the labour market presents quite a heterogenious picture for the internet and telecommunications industry.
In particular small and medium-sized software manufacturers, information technology service providers and internet businesses have created about 10.000 new jobs in 2006. On the other side, jobs have been cut in the hardware and telecommunications sectors. „All in all the employment figure for the the whole branch of industry remains unchanged” said Mr. Berchtold. Currently there are about 800.000 people working in the field of information technology and telecommunications. This figure includes the jobs provided by manufacturers of consumer electronics which for the first time have been incorporated into the BITKOM statistics.
In the barometer in question 50 percent of companies said that the lack of experts was a hindrance to their business activities. This percentage is the highest since the BITKOM barometers were launched in 2001.
Thus, the lack of experts is gaining dramatic dimensions, warns Berchtold. German Universities are said not to bring enough graduates onto the market, in particular in the technical fields, so that the needs of the economy were not met. The figures for freshman students in computer sciences have declined by 25 percent since the year 2000 and stand at currently 28.000. This lack of experts ought to be intensively discussed on the occasion of the IT summit to be held with the German Chancellour. Possible methods of resolution to this problem could be provided by new educational or immigration policies.