Working in Germany: the official website
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Qualified professionals

Skilled labour shortages in German companies – Which occupations are in demand

In Germany there is currently no nationwide shortage of skilled, however, it is already affecting certain occupations. The most severely hit are occupations in the sciences and engineering, and in health care. In which occupations current occupational difficulties occur, also strongly depends on the qualification level. A distinction is made between three groups: Skilled professionals are persons with completed, at least two-year vocational training or a comparable qualification; Specialists are workers with a master craftsman's or technician's training, a university of applied sciences/ university degree or a comparable qualification; Experts are persons who have at least a four-year university education or equivalent qualification.

The current skills shortage in specific occupational groups or regions cannot be met fully by the available power supply. Therefore, there is a lack of skilled professionals in the care of the elderly, as well as specialists in refrigeration technology. At the level of the specialists, the shortage refers to the occupations of automation technology, as well as in professional nursing. There is as well shortage at the expert level in IT occupations such as software development and programming, as well as human medicine (excluding dentistry).

The number of vacancies differ from region to region

Looking at labour shortages for Germany as a whole says little about the regional opportunities for jobseekers. This is why it is useful to look at the situation in the 402 towns and Landkreise (administrative districts). On average, people of all qualifications in search of employment in 2017 had the best chances of finding it in southern Germany: nationwide, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg posted the fewest jobseekers applying for any one vacancy. Over the year, they were frequently fewer than three. This means that there is an urgent need for labour. Inversely, in large areas of eastern Germany and in many districts in North-Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, there were more than five or even ten jobseekers for one vacancy. Therefore, if you are wondering where, in purely mathematical terms, you have the best chances of finding a job, the best thing to do is move to Lindau, Donau-Ries, Memmingen or to Regensburg– that is, to Bavaria.

(Vocational) training: many vacancies are unoccupied

Its automotive sector apart, Germany is known the world over for its dual education system in industry and vocational schools. Since the economy is growing and companies need more qualified professionals, the chances of getting a training in Germany are also growing, because thousands of intern vacancies are unoccupied – 48,937 in 2017. In Germany, small and medium-sized businesses especially are facing great difficulties in finding suitable trainees and widen their radius. Because even people who are not from the EU may, under certain circumstances, undertake a vocational training course in Germany. In any case, the vocational training market in Germany is open to EU nationals. Regardless of your country of origin, (vocational) training in Germany gives you a good chance of entering the German labour market.

Information on the internet

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Skilled professionals for Germany (German, English, French)


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