There is an increasing lack of engineers in the German economy. According to the Association of German Engineers (VDI), there were 96.000 posts for engineers which could not be staffed in June 2008. This means that the number of vacancies has virtually doubled since the year 2004. There is, however, also a positive aspect to this development: in June there were just 21.000 jobless engineers in Germany.
Sought-after are in particular engineers for civil and automotive engineering as well as for electrical engineering. The lack of engineers is particularly great in the federal lander of Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria.
According to VDI, the age structure of today’s engineers gives reason for concern in the long-run: “Currently we have more elderly than young engineers and the age group of those younger than 35 is the smallest of all. If those engineers who are currently older than 50 gradually retire over the years to come, there will be no equivalent replacement”, says Dr. Willi Fuchs who is the VDI chairman. Therefore, in the long run not only Germany as a high-tech site is at risk due to a lack of engineers, but also the German economy as a whole. Therefore it is all the more important to take appropriate countermeasures, warns Mr. Fuchs. To this end, the VDI has been advocating for years the introduction of engineering lessons at schools in Germany.