Sunday , September 25 2022

VDE warns about "the biggest gap in electrical engineering and information technology"


"Germany is heading for the biggest engineering gap in electrical engineering and information technology ever," warns the Association of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and IT (VDE). Over the next ten years, more than 100,000 young engineers in the sector would need more than "training here in Germany," VDE chief Ansgar Hinz said on the presentation of the VDE study "E-Ing 2025: Technologies, the Labor Market , engineering ". . The abandon rate in electrical and computer technology is higher than ever.

According to the study, the employment of electric engineers with a current total of 393,600 jobs reaches a maximum. This is far more than just 188,000 technical experts, the Federal Office of Statistics as "employees subject to social security" for this professional group. Obviously, this is due to the fact that self-employed, senior management engineers, teachers, and even sales engineers are not officially listed in typical occupational statistics.

With an unemployment rate of only 2.2%, according to VDE, the sector is "practically full time". However, demographic change widens the engineering gap there: in 2018, some 10 900 new electric engineers would be needed to replace retired colleagues. "This replacement request will increase to about 13,000 people per year by the end of the next decade," Hinz says. Economic growth and structural change with the ongoing "digital transformation" have led to a further need. The long-term trend already indicates an average demand growth of approximately 9600 people or 2.9% annually. The biggest drivers are Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Electromobility, Intelligent Cities or Industry 4.0.

From a "Überakademisierung" in electrical and computer technology can not be longer, says the association. The "high rhythm of contraction" among students has highlighted the problem: now they reach peaks of up to 58% abandoned in the underlying subjects. So far, the need for additional growth has been "covered by better exploitation of the potential of the older workers' labor market" and by the immigration of trained specialists from abroad, which are becoming more and more difficult.

The results of the online heise study study are based, among other things, on a study conducted by VDE among 1350 member companies and universities of electrical and computer technology. In addition, the Köln Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW), located near the employer, evaluated the microcensus data on German citizens and the labor market. They are based on the survey of a percentage of the total population. The latest figures are from 2015.

VDE calls for a comprehensive and effective digital educational initiative to reduce massively the number of students leaving the university. For this, training in natural sciences and especially mathematics in schools needs to be improved. In addition, VDE is committed to attracting more young people, and especially women, to study electrical engineering and information technology and to inspire young people in general for a technical career.

The association's forecast is not the first of its kind: since 2009, IW has predicted that the country is heading for a dramatic shortage of qualified workforce, and that in 2014 there were 220,000 STEM specialists (mathematics, computer science, technology). In fact, this has not happened, but the Institute renews its warnings again and again. In 2015, the German Engineers' Association (VDI) estimated that at least 84,000 and, at worst, 390,000 engineers should be missing by 2029. At the same time, Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft found the situation more relaxed on the basis of their own study: the general lack of skilled workers in the MINT professions is not threatening.
(Stefan Krempl) /


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