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Figures of the VDI: Not comprehensible and overdrawn
Just a few weeks ago Willi Fuchs, director of the VDI, claimed in the SPIEGEL-ONLINE interview, the average age of engineers is 50 to 51 years; therefore there is a wave of retirement and thus a large need for replacement. In addition, the association had vigorously rejected criticism of its numbers.
Now published Dr. Karl Brenke, labor and economic expert at the DIW, who had already caused a stir at the end of 2010, new figures in which he took a closer look at the arguments of the VDI - and refuted. The numbers of the VDI can not understand Brenke and considers it excessive.
In current Weekly report of the DIW and in one Article On Spiegel Online, he explains that the VDI's alarm not only refers to the open engineering positions at the Federal Employment Agency, but also to the age structure of the engineers.
How does the VDI come up with its figures?
In your well researched post on ZEIT ONLINE explains editor Tina Groll, how the VDI comes to the shortage of skilled workers - a calculation that Brenke does not consider reputable: "The association bases its calculation on a survey from the year 2009. Accordingly, only every seventh engineering job is reported to the Federal Agency. Therefore, the club multiplies this number by a factor of seven. This number is then compared with the number of engineers registered as unemployed - currently the 18.882 are persons. This is how the VDI comes to the gap of 87.000 specialists. "
The average age is younger than the VDI
And what about the age structure? According to micro census 2008 were in Germany around 750000 engineers active. Her average age was 43,3 years. Less than a third of them were 50 years and older.
"Although engineers enter the labor market relatively late due to their long training period, the average age is no higher than for other academic professions," says DIW expert Brenke.
Early retirement wave? Wrong!
Since there have been no radical policy measures or developments in the labor market for engineers in recent years, Brenke assumes that the age structure of the engineers may at most have shifted slightly.
"I do not think it's realistic that 2008 has grown its average age by seven years to 50 to 51 years," said Brenke.
This is also supported by the current employment statistics of the Federal Agency for Labor of June 2011.
Replacement of 20 000 engineers
"An annual need of 40000 engineers - just to replace the retirees - is not realistic to deduce from the available numbers," said Brenke, "because then all the employed engineers, who are now 50 years and older, in 5 ½ years in retire. "
DIW Berlin expects about half the replacement demand for engineers for the coming years. "If you calculate fairly, you'll end up with about 20000 people who retire each year for reasons of age," says Brenke.
Future needs can be met by university graduates
As a result of the boom after the financial crisis, the number of engineers has risen overall - among 2008 and 2011 social insurance payers by an average of 1,5 per year. "This growth rate is not low, but not much higher than the average of all employees subject to social security contributions," says Brenke. There she was at 1,1 percent.
"In recent years there has been a veritable run on engineering study places," says the DIW labor market expert. For example, 2010 graduated from 50000 students in an industry-related engineering degree program. "Alone the graduates who are currently leaving the universities can meet the total demand for engineers."
Wrong numbers as a problem for job starters
Brenke therefore advocates a more realistic consideration of engineering needs in the current decade. "Starting a career can be increasingly difficult for young engineers when there is a graduate glut."
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