VDI again predicts a shortage of skilled workers: painting by numbers

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It has been a good month since DIW labor market researcher Karl Brenke started the discussion about the Skills shortage lifted to a more factual level - at least one could have thought so. Because shortly before the turn of the year, the VDI returns - with the usual thesis! VDI again predicts shortage of skilled labor: painting by numbers VDI again predicts shortage of skilled workers: painting by numbers

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Here writes for you: Simone Janson is a publisher, German Top20 blogger and HR communication consultant. Profile

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This entry contains content and information that may be out of date, eg due to legal or statistical changes. Because it can still be helpful to get an overview of the topic, you can still find it here.

What do the VDI say?


The Association of German Engineers made it clear again in a press release that in Germany in the near future continues to be expected with a strong shortage of skilled workers. Document: The number of vacancies in November 2010, incidentally contradict those Karl Brenkes blatantly.

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For me, this seems like a little: "What do I care about the statistics from last month? We already get him the skills shortage - but now really! "In detail, this reads like this:

Even in November 2010, the shortage of engineers further aggravated. According to the VDI / IW engineer monitor, some 47.000 engineers were missing. The increase of just under eight percent compared to the previous month resulted in part from the increase in vacancies on 70.000. At the same time, engineering unemployment fell again slightly in November by two percent on 23.600. 15.800 and thus the most vacancies were again in Baden-Württemberg, followed by 13.600 vacancies in North Rhine-Westphalia and almost 10.000 in Bavaria. With 24.500 jobs, the largest number of job vacancies was announced again for mechanical and automotive engineers, for electrical engineers 15.700 and for civil engineers 12.300. For the profession of electrical engineers this means an increase of almost 5 percent compared to October 2010, compared to the same month last year even by 41,4 percent.

Where do the figures come from?


Incidentally, the figures for this report are calculated by the Institute for German Business. At Karl Brenke, the numbers look completely different - for example, the machine and vehicle construction engineers mentioned by the VDI:

Here, in October 2010, Brenke could only make 3.366 vacancies. And 2008, before the economic crisis it was also only 5.018 (see page 7 in the study).

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Can this be calculated?


As this strong discrepancy comes to explain brand expert Brenke also right himself - namely on page 4 his study (which is here as PDF) - namely, on the one hand from a calculation error and, secondly, because not all registered vacancies actually are free:

The Institute of German Business (IW) has tried to use a combination of business surveys and data from the Federal Employment Agency to capture the supply and demand of engineers, for example. So it is on the basis of a relatively small sample raised, how many Company to report their vacancies for engineers to the Federal Employment Agency. On this basis, a factor is calculated which extrapolates the number of vacancies reported at the employment service to reflect the total demand for engineers. Finally, the factor seven was used - the number of open engineering positions at the Federal Agency was multiplied by seven.

What is the problem?


Karl Brenke then explains why the process is problematic:

It is, however, not permissible to simply calculate the vacancies using a multiplier. In the economy as a whole, only those vacancies are relevant for the measurement of a specialist need which arise when a company wants to increase its staff or because employees are to leave and be replaced. However, vacancies are often only attributable to changes in the company. For example, an employee who is still working in the company has announced a change in employment and has thus triggered a vacancy notice. This employee is now applying to a job posting at another employer, which has been switched because an employee wants to change his or her job. Several vacancies have been created in this way, but no additional workplace and not even a vacancy due to the departure of an employee from the working life.

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I would like to see that VDI and IW, if they differ from one another, are concerned with Brenkes' study critically and discuss their theses. The study of the DIW to tozeken and to continue as simple as before, has little transparency and credible. An open discussion would be more conducive to the topic!

Or do you think that this short contribution with a few loosely dropped examples can invalidate a whole study? I think this is a little lean and little meaningful. The Institute for German Business and the VDI is apparently of a different opinion.

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  1. damaged

    Hello Simone,

    I think it would be time for a reflection of the news:

    After the mirror FINALLY times the reported:
    "Skilled labor shortage - who is afraid of the killer statistics?"

    "No one needs the engineer anymore"

    Reported his economic wing once again:
    "And here lies the biggest problem of the shortage of skilled workers: As many entrepreneurs and recruitment consultants currently complain, companies do not suffer from too few applicants for their jobs, but there is a lack of good, suitable candidates - the shortage of skilled workers is of a qualitative nature."

    Once again, the perverse PR carousel is turning, this time with a ridiculously windy twist.

    To comment 15: I would like to write something about the whole topic, but I lack the time for really competent research. In addition, the topic of the different specialists would be nothing for me, I am a researcher and have nothing to do with production, even with development (where the majority of the engineers work) and only few intersections with it ...

  2. Simone Janson

    Hello My,
    apart from the fact that I understand their displeasure very well:
    This is the most creative comment I have ever received! What a cool idea! I'll make my own posting!

  3. That's me

    With messages like this I was promised this here and after four years of hard study and three years of "transitional unemployment" I have to admit to myself that contributions like this undercut the situation far and wide. As a graduate industrial engineer (manufacturing technology, FH) I have even with these exploiters no chance of hiring. So when I look at messages like I feel like and and I can

  4. Simone Janson

    Hello "Damaged", which I would find really interesting: This distinction of the various professionals. Since in the general discourse always much is lumped together, which does not belong together and this then leads to a series of misjudgments.

    Could not you write something about it? Because you have to be very deep in the topic - so deeply I could not even work for lack of time (just write a book). But ME is doing a differentiation. And it is far too little differentiated.

    Here you can also write an article by Anonymous. Or just by E-Mai. But also with name and photo.

  5. damaged

    I am rather surprised at how smooth and professional lobbying is. I probably read too much mirrors and similar publications, but I can already see from the first approaches of articles (which are now fast to the series) where the wind blows long before the "main article" to legitimize the policy to be published. The incredibly quickly published concept for "securing skilled labor" speaks volumes, I have terrible fears.

    Blog contributions were already planned by me on the blog of a friend, but then never came about. I think solid research from professionals are more meaningful than my opinion. But let's look, I need to communicate.

    By the way, when looking at your IT-forces article, it strikes me again that one should differentiate between the sought-after "skilled workers", ie more clearly the term "skilled worker" or "engineer". For me, webserver or SAP module programmer is not an engineer or a computer scientist, just as a cutting machine operator is not a mechanical engineer who has developed the CNC milling machine (and a business graduate is also not at the cashier at Karstadt). It would be sad if you needed a computer scientist for such work, which evaluates the appropriate training occupations by the way, too. And the press speaks at the shortage of skilled workers currently mainly of electrical engineers like me, my field is also still ICT, but I would NOT in the approach as an IT expert for reading z. For example, your article.

  6. damaged

    There is a new one from the Special Forces Bullshitbingo (Heise-Link, since the message is quite clear there):


    @Simone, you did not even want to research the topic, including discussion with the DIW? That would fit now.

    Quintessence: you will lure cheap labor from abroad, but let them sit right back (see "Computer Indians" who like to go back to India or just moved on to the US ...), but at the time the domestic workers so well pressured that the engineering salaries STILL fall further. According to Brüderle, this A ...., We have earned MINT'ler anyway no more than 40000 € (after 5 professional years then like 42000 €). We are not lawyers whose importance is justified by the exorbitant fee regulation ...

    • Simone Janson

      Hi Damaged, when I yesterday this article published, I have already counted with a corresponding comment.

      Now, I find the exciting thrust of the federal government now again not so exciting: It is nothing really new, that one holds on the specialist power, was to be expected. Now, wait and see what's going on.

      But how about if you yourself opened a blog on the topic - I would then link - or even wrote a guest post here on the blog =

      Simone Janson

  7. damaged

    For the sake of completeness:


    Now the temporary workers crawl out of the holes and do what many (including me) have already expected: they will try to avoid all sensible hurdles and flood the German labor market with low-cost jobs. Thanks to government this is possible without problems.

    And the bridge to the topic: all temporary work engineers, engineering service providers and "service / consulting" companies put together the engineers represent the largest or at least one of the largest groups of temporary workers in Germany. Unfortunately ...

  8. Simone Janson

    Hi Damaged, this is interesting, thank you! Since I will ask times with the left. Please be patient!

  9. damaged

    There is something "new" to the shortage of skilled workers:

    Incidentally, the Left has been working on the subject of a shortage of skilled workers for many years, always with the same result: it does not exist. Incidentally, this is usually the government's answer to requests from the left for reliable figures and sources of skills shortages. For more than a year, the leftists have been very actively involved in parliamentary activities, and once again the government's OFFICIAL ANSWER: "We can not tell you where the skills shortage is". I thank the government for such good work.

  10. Simone Janson

    Update: Since there is currently nothing to report on the topic, and since I am admittedly also busy with other things, I will pick up on the subject of shortage of skilled workers at a later date with a retrospective stocktaking and also closer to the above-discussed monthly report of the VDI from December 2010. Meanwhile, I ask for patience: Who wants to download the questionable monthly report and make himself a picture, he finds no more underneath the original address.
    However, the VDI has taken the criticism to heart and revised the download page - so just search.

  11. Simone Janson

    @ Damaged then I'm happy that I could help.
    Yes, this is how a blog works: The articles are sorted chronologically, older articles are retained and are not deleted or improved, which ensures transpiration. If the numbers there are different than those in the newer articles, then it is probably due to the fact that the recent figures are only known since mid-November - the previous lack of reliable studies we discussed often enough in the blog.
    I am also pleased that you are concerned about the state of journalism in Germany: Perhaps you have as someone who is obviously worthy of critical journalism also lays out ideas for funding? Ulrike Langer's suggestion on this matter has already been linked to elsewhere:

    @ Dob: Thank you for your very differentiated examination of the topic. I will pick up on the subject in January - currently is currently Christmas break in Germany, in addition, I'm busy until mid-January with a new book - only from the blog I can not live ;-)

  12. dob

    On the subject of 'job changer' I would like to say that I find the point of view of IW / VDI quite plausible here. But it is idealized because at no time more job postings than immediately! there are vacancies. This applies to their entire labor market model and would even make sense if one would concede that derived figures are not absolutely valid, but can only show tendencies.
    In the so-called "engineer gap" of the VDI, it immediately becomes obvious that one was very anxious to find a multiplier on the demand side ('seven'), whereas the offer page is unjustified with 'one'. According to the definition, the job offers all job seekers! (Who do not have any ALV claims yet) + freelancers without employment (which often do not pay in the ALV to remain independent of the employment agency) + in Hartz IV slipped Ings. (how unpleasant!).
    Not only in the Ingeneurmonitor itself I find no word to this, also not in the associated method report.

  13. damaged

    @Simone. Nice that my words do not remain hidden.

    I see how differentiated you are dealing with the topic meanwhile, please do not misunderstand but I must point to something if I have always been accused of polemics:

    In some (one?) Of your older article is BIS TODAY, that the alleged shortage of skilled workers at least ALSO by the Verrentnerung (more Ingi-retirees than graduates) came about. But even the IW study says that would not be so (too lazy to look, but have something with 36000 retirees against 47000 graduates in mind). A deficiency arises even after this study (!) Only by falling from the sky 34000 "new" engineering offices.

    Eh, Simone, either you had another study at hand when writing the article (and I would like to see it) or you did what many journalists do today: uncredited cheap PR material also interpreted and converted into an article. And I set against this kind of power-PR polemics - quite blatant but just with solid arguments underpinned. Unfortunately, suit-and-suit lies are easier to enforce than evil evil irony ...

  14. Simone Janson

    Hello Dob,
    You are right, I have overlooked the "attachment" smoothly, because he was not clearly marked as a continuative material - so much on the topic of user-usability :-) But luckily, I have attentive readers like you, thank you very much.
    And you are right, at the first drüberlesen I also noticed a few criticisms - I will read this in peace between the years once again and comment.
    Sometimes happy holidays!
    Simone Janson

  15. dob

    Hello Mrs. Janson,
    as an engineer, I am very pleased that you will continue to be on the ball with this subject and will place greater trust in the numerous readers' reports on the web and a critical study than those of employer-oriented institutions.
    It almost seems to me, however, that you have overlooked the more detailed opinion of the IW on the DIW study, to which a link under your link 'this brief contribution' leads.
    Of course, this opinion does not persuade me, although (or just because) a whole lot of figures are being thrown around, which are, in stark contrast, my own experiences on the labor market.
    The IW also tries to explain (why in 6) why its "counting" is correct in the event of a change of business. I am puzzling, because assuming that no new jobs would be created, one would still have regularly published "open" posts in this view.
    Almost cynically, I also find point 3, in which a rising wage leap from Ings. to low qualified personnel (personal note: whose wages were pushed even more).
    Similarly, point 1, which states that 60% of all Ings are employed in service industries. Is it just behind the fact that the industry is your Ings. primarily concerned about personnel services.

  16. Simone Janson

    I had already missed you and I am glad that you are keeping us as a commentator - above all because of the haunting metaphor of your choice of words.
    Purely stylistically, I find their comparison so successful that I have to twitter.
    Thank you!

    In the matter I still prefer to keep to the facts!
    The question of the "different opinion" was rhetorical in nature and referred to the fact that with a few examples in a press release one has tried to invalidate a whole study.

    Despite all the annoyance nice holidays

  17. damaged

    IW and VDI do not disagree, as criminal attempts are being made to produce young heating material. We do not talk here of teleshopping, which sells me Ramschfitnessgeräte for 60 €. For example, For example, had ruined my life with this perverted, man-despised occupation, for when I began to study, the engineers were racing on the radio. Ultimately, Germany will lose the mass of good, motivated engineers and these will be replaced by a huge mass of cheap, dissatisfied engineering workers.

    I dare to say the engineers are the Chinese brickwork workers among the academics, incredible stress and hopelessness with steadily falling salaries.

  18. Simone Janson

    Freshly blogged: But now! - VDI again predicts shortage of skilled workers: painting by numbers

  19. Competencepartner

    But now! - VDI again predicts shortage of skilled workers: painting by numbers: a good month is ...

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