The shortage of skilled workers with technical training continues to worsen. "The engineering shortage has long been the number one problem for German industry, and the situation will worsen dramatically in the coming years," said Dieter Westkamp of the Association of German Engineers (VDI).

Helmut Bünder

Business correspondent in Dusseldorf.

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The latest survey by the VDI shows 170,300 vacancies on the job market for engineers. This means that the gap has widened by more than a fifth compared to the previous year. The situation is particularly precarious in energy and electrical engineering, and the situation is only slightly better in construction and computer science.

The consequences are also being felt by the public sector, where construction projects and digitization projects are stalled or stalled. With demographic change, the number of first-year students in engineering core subjects continues to decline. According to the German Economic Institute, the number of new entrants has fallen by around 2016,20 to 000,125 since 600 – despite all efforts to motivate more young women and to exploit the potential of skilled workers through better training and further education opportunities.

"Without a strong immigration of foreign skilled workers, we will no longer be able to close the gap," Westkamp said. This also includes keeping more foreign graduates in Germany.

The German government's plans to facilitate immigration are an important first step for him. "Germany is in international competition here." Above all, it will be important to improve and accelerate the processes in the immigration authorities, not least through digitization. "It can't be that it takes seven months for an applicant from India to be allowed to work in Germany," Westkamp said.