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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 2009. According to this, only every seventh engineering position is reported to the Federal Agency. Therefore, the club multiplies this number by a factor of seven. This number is then compared to the number of unemployed engineers - currently 18.882 people. In this way, the VDI can fill 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 job market relatively late due to their long training period, the average age is no higher than in other academic professions," said 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 realistic that the average age rose by seven years to 2008 to 50 years from 51 to today," 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 requirement of 40000 engineers - just to replace retirees - cannot be realistically derived from the available figures," said Brenke, "because then all employed engineers who are 50 years old and older would have to be in within 5½ years change retirement. ”
The DIW Berlin assumes that engineers will need around half as much replacement in the coming years. "If you calculate fairly, there are about 20000 people who leave every year for reasons of age," says Brenke.
Future needs can be met by university graduates
As a result of the upswing after the financial crisis, the number of engineers rose overall - for those subject to social security between 2008 and 2011 by an average of 1,5 percent per year. "Although this growth rate is not small, it is also not much higher than the average of all employees subject to social security contributions," says Brenke. There it was 1,1 percent.
"In recent years there has been a real run on engineering study places," said the DIW labor market expert. In 2010, around 50000 students completed their studies in an industry-related engineering course. “Only the graduates who currently come from the universities can cover the total need for engineers.”
Wrong numbers as a problem for job starters
Brenke therefore advocates a more realistic view of engineering needs in the current decade. "Starting a career can become increasingly difficult for young engineers when there is a flood of graduates."
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