Crafts: “Heating, plumbing and air conditioning continue to be at the top of the training professions” | EUROtoday

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MWith solely 30 staff, Hjalmar Stemmann, 60, produces dental prostheses and facial prostheses in addition to medical merchandise for dental implants, akin to drill sleeves product of titanium, in his corporations Stemmann & Leisner and Steco Dentaltechnik. From Hamburg-Lokstedt, Stemmann markets its merchandise all through Germany and worldwide – an instance of the standard of Hamburg craftsmanship. Since 2019, Stemmann has represented the pursuits of round 15,000 craft companies with a complete of 105,000 staff as President of the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts. He informed WELT how the chamber is addressing the scarcity of younger expertise and expert staff.

WELT: Mr. Stemmann, the variety of new coaching contracts in Hamburg's expert trades rose by 4.6 % in 2023 in comparison with the earlier 12 months, to 2,291. Other vital key figures akin to the full variety of coaching contracts and the variety of journeyman and grasp craftsman examinations, nevertheless, fell considerably. Does that alarm you?

Hjalmar Stemmann: No, however we’re paying consideration. It have to be seen that the variety of coaching contracts in Hamburg's expert trades was very excessive from 2017 to 2019, as much as the 12 months instantly earlier than the beginning of the pandemic. What we see in final 12 months's figures displays, on the one hand, the commonly three-year cycle of – on this case a very massive quantity – coaching contracts, but in addition the sharp decline in new coaching contracts within the pandemic years from 2020 to 2022. We are selecting up now the numbers from 2015 and 2016 and hope that we are able to regularly improve this stage once more.

WELT: When it involves discovering trainees, are the trades in Hamburg doing higher than different components of the economic system, given demographic change?

The temper: I feel so. The expert trades have a sure lead in some trades, though we must develop considerably extra to satisfy demand. For the brand new coaching contracts, we would wish the notably robust variety of 2019 once more, at the moment there have been 2,516. The general cake is getting smaller, so to talk, and our piece of the cake is step by step getting a little bit larger if we take the full variety of younger folks accessible for coaching.

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Montblanc boss Sascha Schneider (l.) and Olaf Oesterhelweg, deputy head of Hamburger Sparkasse, at Haspa on Adolphsplatz in Hamburg, in the background the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce

WELT: Apparently, crafts in Hamburg proceed to be very extremely regarded by younger people who find themselves eager about their profession path, simply as they have been earlier than the pandemic.

The temper: This is just not least because of the craft's nationwide picture marketing campaign. In Hamburg we construct on this and complement it with particular Hamburg motifs, for instance with promoting for particular person guilds and trades on elevated railway buses – however particularly on-line. We make investments some huge cash – the membership charges of our corporations – with the intention to attain out to much more younger folks and to accentuate contact with lecturers generally colleges. In the regional states, contacts between district craft associations and craft companies in colleges are historically extra intensive. In addition, Hamburg has a very massive quantity and vary of engaging – even very massive – corporations from many industries that compete with the expert trades for trainees. We need to go the additional mile, and that reveals success. Our marketing campaign with the Ferris wheel on the Hamburg Cathedral for ninth graders – two rounds of session with an teacher – our craft worlds within the ice area or the trainee and internship velocity courting deliver the craft into contact with 1000’s of younger folks.

WELT: To your data, what do younger folks discover engaging about coaching within the expert trades and what do they discover tough?

The temper: For instance, we handle younger people who find themselves searching for precisely that – to work bodily outdoors, be it as photo voltaic fitters, roofers or carpenters. With only a few exceptions, house workplace is just not doable within the trades. I don't know whether or not each apprentice baker enjoys standing within the bakery at 4 within the morning. But the sense of that means that you simply see within the night what you began within the morning is a really particular characteristic of the craft. This fills many younger folks with nice pleasure, throughout all trades. This is why some younger ladies or younger males swap from learning to receiving expert trades coaching. For instance, I consider the physics pupil who then skilled to turn into a sailmaker.

WELT: What potential do automation and digitalization provide within the expert trades to make do with fewer trainees and fewer expert staff sooner or later?

The temper: I’ve nice hopes that digitalization will proceed to achieve momentum within the trades with the intention to deal with demographic change. However, it isn’t occurring shortly sufficient to compensate for the scarcity of staff and expert staff. In many locations, craft companies will be relieved by way of innovation, digitalization and automation. The roofer who used to measure the roof with a ruler can now do that with the assistance of a drone. It's sooner, extra exact and fewer bodily demanding. My personal business, dental know-how, has lengthy been one of many pioneers in digitalization and using three-dimensional applied sciences.

WELT: Does the commerce in Hamburg proceed to realize an above-average quantity of highschool graduates who begin coaching in comparison with the remainder of the nation?

The temper: Yes, round 22 to 23 % of a 12 months in Hamburg's expert trades proceed to start out their coaching with a highschool diploma. We are on the forefront nationwide. However, that is additionally attributable to the truth that round 55 % of all college students in Hamburg full normal schooling colleges with the Abitur, excess of within the regional states.

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WELT: Which trades are notably fashionable with trainees and that are much less so?

The temper: Heating, plumbing and air-con proceed to be on the prime. This is definitely additionally attributable to the truth that trainees and future expert staff could make a direct contribution to local weather safety. Automotive mechatronics and electronics, which now have 5 totally different job profiles, are additionally on the forefront. Hairdressing is not a kind of solely feminine career, however is far more combined than earlier than, particularly due to males with a migrant background, and continues to be very talked-about. Training as a painter, varnisher and carpenter, optician and roofer, and likewise as an data electronics technician are in nice demand. It is harder to search out specialist salespeople for butcher retailers and bakeries. Certain trades, akin to sailmakers or watchmakers, have only a few trainees as a result of their markets are very small general lately – though these professions are additionally fairly fashionable.

WELT: The Hamburg Chamber of Crafts is demanding an internship bonus from Hamburg politicians for a most of 4 weeks with the intention to introduce extra younger folks to the trades by way of voluntary internships. Where did this concept come from?

The temper: Since 2020, Saxony-Anhalt has had excellent experiences with an internship bonus of 120 euros per week for a most of 4 weeks. More than 30 % of interns then begin coaching in a talented commerce. The total measure is sort of fully financed by the native Ministry of Economic Affairs. Such a program – supported by the financial company or by the social authority liable for the labor market – would additionally make quite a lot of sense for Hamburg.

WELT: Is 120 euros every week an incentive for younger folks to do an internship?

The temper: The cash is definitely an extra incentive to finish an internship. The decisive issue within the determination to undertake craft coaching is the sensible expertise of working in a craft enterprise for a couple of weeks.

WELT: From the angle of the Chamber of Crafts in Hamburg, the so-called grasp's bonus ought to presently be elevated from 1,000 euros to 4,000 euros. Do these few thousand euros really affect a girl or man's life-long determination to pursue a grasp's profession in a selected craft?

The temper: This sum primarily influences the choice as to the place a journeyman or journeyman will additional qualify to turn into a grasp craftsman. Some neighboring nations have lengthy been paying extra. But if I get 4,000 euros in Lüneburg and 1,000 euros 30 kilometers away in Harburg, I would settle in Lüneburg later. Because each particular person has to pay for his or her grasp's examination in Germany themselves, the full price of a grasp's coaching is on common round 12,000 euros. That's some huge cash for a teen. Despite doable subsidies by way of the Advancement BAföG, there’s a nice injustice related to this, as a result of college coaching and examinations price the graduate nothing.

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WELT: Dormitories for trainees are one other demand from the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts to politicians. Hamburger Sparkasse is presently implementing a extremely acclaimed mission. But building prices have risen dramatically lately.

The temper: Hamburg can have a constructive affect on this, particularly by allocating reasonably priced public land. After a corresponding determination by the residents, town solely grants such areas on a long-term lease for 99 years. But a considerably lowered floor hire for a trainee dormitory could be an ideal assist to a possible developer for such a mission. That could be a type of subsidy. But it advantages a gaggle in quick want, and after three years the trainee strikes out once more and the subsequent 12 months takes up the condominium. From an financial standpoint, this would definitely be very nicely invested capital. Relaxed constructing and housing laws would additionally assist, for instance by typically approving trainee dormitories on the sting of economic areas. In Hamburg, for instance, the Azubiwerk Foundation constructed such a system on a newly constructed hearth station.

WELT: What can the federal authorities really do to get extra folks into the trades?

The temper: For instance, the federal authorities can present the grasp craftsman examination freed from cost, which would offer a big increase. And it could actually – inside the framework of the brand new Occupational Validation and Digitalization Act – facilitate transitions into occupations and the labor market – for instance, by equating folks of a sure age with no vocational qualification with coaching after a adequate interval of confirmed sensible exercise. Of course, this can be a balancing act as a result of it should not at all ship the message to younger those who they don't really need any coaching. However, there’s a big potential for folks aged round 30 and over with out vocational coaching whose presence on the labor market will be strengthened by way of validation procedures.