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The German Labour Market in the Year 2030 – A Strategic View on Demography, Employment and Education

The German Labour Market in the Year 2030

Kurt Vogler-Ludwig / Nicola Düll

Translated by Emma Louise Rotter





Blueprint of the forecasting model

The labour market in the year 2030 – demographics and labour supply determine development


Turnaround in employment


Slight loss in labour market dynamics


Economic development


Overall economic output


Demand components


Competitiveness and foreign trade


The euro crisis and growth of the German economy


Inflation and raw material prices


Two long-term scenarios as development alternatives


Scenario 1: Growth and Work


Scenario 2: Welfare and Happiness


Our choice

Labour demand – from a service-based economy into a knowledge-based economy


Sectoral change in employment


Goods producing sectors


Trade and transport


Business service sector


Financial services


Private and public services


Employment and productivity


Structural change in occupations




Overall development


Occupational profile for the agricultural sector: ecological reorganisation


Occupational profile for the manufacturing sector: from a manufacturer to a technical service provider


Occupational profile for the trade and transport sector: global trading with


Occupational profile for the business services sector: rationalising clerical work


Occupational profile for the public administration sector: cutting jobs in almost all occupations


Occupation profile for the social services sector: adapting to the ageing population


Skills-based and qualification-based structural change


Overall development


Tertiary education graduates: strong demand for lawyers, economists and social scientists


Dual vocational training


Graduates from technical colleges


Replacement demand


Overall results


Long-term replacement demand and overall demand for occupations


Long-term total demand for formal vocational training


Long-term replacement demand by age

Labour supply – the challenge of an ageing population


Population development


Increasing labour market participation among women and older people


Labour market participation of women


Labour market participation among men


Conditions for an increased participation rate


Development of labour supply


Working hours


Qualification and occupational structure of the labour force


Labour force by formal training


Labour force by occupation




Labour market dynamics: labour force inflows and labour force outflows


Preliminary remarks: methodology


Overall development


More university graduates from the educational system


An increasing level of education among immigrants


Occupational mobility of the workforce




Inflow of non-employed persons into employment



Bottlenecks in the labour market


Basic considerations


Labour market balance by formal vocational training


Labour market balance according to occupation


Overall ranking

Conclusions and recommendations




Economic developments


Population by age and gender


Economic indicators


Productivity by sector


Average wages by sector

Labour market developments


Labour force


Persons employed


Replacement demand


Total demand


Labour force inflows and outflows

Classifications and aggregations


Classification of 88 occupations


Aggregation of 88 occupations


Classification of 44 sectors


Aggregation of 44 sectors


Classification of 29 formal training categories


Aggregation of 29 formal training categories


Bibliography (Annex)




Figure 1-1

German labour market development 

Figure 2-1

Sectoral employment 2010–2030 

Figure 2-2

Employment development by occupation 2010–2030 

Figure 2-3

Restructuring of employment in the agricultural sector 

Figure 2-4

Restructuring of employment in the manufacturing sector 

Figure 2-5

Restructuring of employment in the logistics and transport sector 

Figure 2-6

Restructuring of employment in the business services sector 

Figure 2-7

Restructuring of employment in the public administration sector 

Figure 2-8

Restructuring of employment in the social services sector 

Figure 2-9

Main groups of formal training 2010–2030 

Figure 2-10

Persons employed with tertiary training 

Figure 2-11

Persons employed with dual training 

Figure 2-12

Persons employed with technical college training 

Figure 2-13

Replacement demand and employment related labour market flows 

Figure 2-14

Employment demand in selected occupations 

Figure 3-1

Population by age 

Figure 3-2

Participation rate among women 

Figure 3-3

Participation rate among men 

Figure 3-4

Labour force by gender 

Figure 3-5

Labour force by age groups 

Figure 3-6

Population and participation rate effects on the labour force 

Figure 3-7

Count of labour force by formal training 

Figure 3-8

Labour force by occupation 

Figure 3-9

Labour force inflows and outflows 

Figure 3-10

Labour force inflows and outflows 

Figure 3-11

Labour force inflows from the training system 

Figure 3-12

Immigrants entering employment in the first year of immigration 

Figure 3-13

Job change rates 

Figure 3-14

Job changer by age and gender 

Figure 3-15

Unemployed by formal training 

Figure 3-16

Inflows of non-employed persons into employment 

Figure 4-1

Skills shortages assuming fixed qualification supply structure 


Table 1-1

German labour market development 

Table 1-2

Labour inflows and labour outflows 

Table 1-3

Output by economic sector 

Table 1-4

Demand components 

Table 1-5

Price developments 

Table 2-1

Sectoral structure of employment 

Table 2-2

Employment development by sectors 

Table 2-3

Persons employed by occupation 

Table 2-4

Persons employed by formal training 

Table 2-5

Long-term replacement demand and total demand by occupation 

Table 2-6

Long-term total demand by formal training 

Table 2-7

Replacement demand by age 

Table 3-1

Qualification of immigrants 

Table 3-2

Occupations of working immigrants 

Table 4-1

Company measures used in case of unsuccessful search for personnel 

Table 4-2

Skills shortages assuming fixed occupational supply structure 

Table 4-3

Relative shortages by formal training 

Table 4-4

Relative shortages by occupation 

Table 4-5

Adaptation of labour supply to changes in labour demand 

Table 5-1

Reform programme 


Task and methods

The German Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) commissioned Economix on 2nd November, 2011 to undertake the project “Analysis of the future demand and supply of the labour market based on a computerised model”. According to the project description set out by BMAS, the project should provide “regular and transparent, detailed and scientifically founded estimations for supply and demand in the labour market in Germany”. For this purpose, a forecast model was to be developed which would serve as an early warning system in order to better assess possible labour shortages and to derive targeted measures to safeguard skilled labour. We herewith submit our main report for 2012. It is supplemented by an expert and scenario report and a methodological report.1)

Taking into account the strong volatility caused by the financial and economic crisis, it was clear that the task set before us could not merely be solved by relying on an econometric model of the past. Instead, we had to proceed on the assumption that there will be various structural upheavals originating from the aftermath of the crisis, the advancing globalisation of the economy and the labour markets, and from social changes. Our methodical answer was thus a combination of qualitative future scenarios and mathematical forecasting procedures so that the forecast of the fundamental changes in the economy and in society could be implemented into robust quantitative projections.

Two alternative scenarios for the future were developed based on the findings of seven expert reports. This included globalisation, technological change, work organisation, climate change and above all the effect of demographic change on educational and employment behaviour of the German population. These findings were discussed in a workshop with the client in April 2012, where they were condensed into scenarios and used as a basis for the quantitative models.

These models are based on the labour market models developed by Cambridge Econometrics, the Warwick Institute for Employment Research and the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, which are also used for the qualifications forecast of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training CEDEFOP. In the model versions which have been specifically developed for Germany, 44 economic sectors, 88 occupational groups and 27 technical fields of vocational training were distinguished.

In total, seven modules of the quantitative model simultaneously estimate labour supply and labour demand and thus, take into account the various interrelations in the labour market. It was important to us to depict the adaptive responses in labour supply caused by changes in labour demand and, likewise, the response of labour demand to emerging bottlenecks. This is the only way to stop the forecast from lapsing into a rigid and increasingly unrealistic world. This also distinguishes our approach from other forecast models, which often use separate supply and demand estimations. By using simulations we have illustrated the effects of the assumed changes in different areas of our investigations.

We have stepped into new territory by measuring labour market flows. This is the first time that they have been shown and predicted in a detailed occupational and qualification-specific classification. The assessment of labour inflows and labour outflows was relevant for measuring the labour shortages and for the analysis of the adjustment process with regard to supply and demand.

Our forecast includes possible reactions of policy actors, companies and workforces with regard to the developments. This especially includes reactions to labour shortages over the next 20 years due to demographics. We therefore expect there to be further efforts to implement the German Ministry’s skills strategy (Fachkräftesiche­rungskonzept) which we expect to have a significant impact on female labour participation, the scope of working hours among part time workers, the employment rate of the older population and finally, the volume and structure of immigration. Similarly, we have made assumptions regarding technological development, globalisation strategies within companies as well as specialisation in the international division of labour. Thus, this is no status quo forecast where the response behaviour is stagnant, but rather it is a political forecast which already includes the actions which need to be taken. We therefore regard this report to be a strategic forecast of one of the possible alternatives for the future of the labour market in Germany. We are presenting it as a contribution for further discussion regarding the future of the labour market and not as a conclusion to this debate.

Development of labour supply

Demographic change: challenges due to a declining and ageing population

Even assuming that politics and organisations will do everything to expand labour supply, the number of available workers in the labour market will decline by 2.9 million by the year 2030. This is primarily due to demographic trends as the working age population aged between 15 and 74 years old will sink by 4.7 million.

Demographic development could hardly be less favourable: the number of young people will decline considerably, as will the middle-aged generation. The number of older people, however, will significantly increase. This means that the labour force aged between 15 and 24 years old will drop by 980 000 by the year 2030 and the labour force aged between 25 and 54 years old will decrease by 4.8 million. On the other hand, the labour force aged 55 and older will increase by 3 million (Figure 1).

 Labour force by age
Change between 2010–2030 (in 1000s)

Figure 1: Labour force by age
Change between 2010–2030 (in 1000s)Labour force by age

Source: Economix

These statistics incorporate variant 1-W2 of the 12th coordinated population forecast carried out by the Federal Statistical Office, which assumes a net immigration of 200 000 people from the year 2020 onwards. It also assumes a higher life expectancy and more or less constant birth rates. Demographic change will thus become an inevitable reality in the next 20 years and is something which cannot be fundamentally changed, neither by family policies nor with immigration.

We believe that politics and organisations will face up to the challenges of demographic change so that the existing labour force potential, possibilities for a more highly qualified labour force, as well as the level of potential immigration abroad, will be exhausted. We have embraced BMAS’s skills strategy and moreover, we expect organisations to put an increased amount of effort into safeguarding their skilled workforces. Taking the results of our forecast into consideration, we herewith present the necessary measures which need to be taken.

Safeguarding employment for older workers

As a result of pension reform, the employment rate among older people will rise. This will not solely be the result of the legal retirement age, but rather it will be a labour market policy necessity. The emerging lack of employees will prompt organisations and work policies to keep as many older workers in the labour market as possible. In the form of a large-scale programme created to support employment and promote the participation of older workers, organisations and social partners will develop flexible working time schemes for older people, as well as age-appropriate personnel concepts. Vocational training will be spread out over the whole of a person’s career life and money will be invested in vocational training which will cover all skills levels. Businesses will adapt their work organisation to fit in with the change in age structure and they will organise the transfer of knowledge between their older and younger employees. Under these circumstances, older workers will be more highly valued and will thus be more motivated to work for longer. The threat of old-age poverty will also increase their willingness to work for as long as possible. It is even more important for women to extend their employment life as they usually receive a relatively low pension due to breaks over the course of their working life. At the same time, they more often depend on their own income and thus have to save for their own retirement.

These developments could, however, also take a less favourable route. The labour market could have approximately 1.2 million fewer workers available in the year 2030 if the employment rate of older workers only rises by half of what has been predicted. This could happen if organisations and policies offer inadequate incentives to keep older workers in the workforce, if the necessary jobs for older workers are not available or if workers prefer to take early retirement and exit the labour market because it is better than any of the other incentives being offered.

Balance of job and family life

The forecast is based on the assumption that the employment rate among women will reach the same level as in Denmark, Norway or Sweden. This requires that politics and organisations change their course of action so that the balance of family life and work life is significantly improved. For example, this could include expanding and improving childcare facilities for all ages, increasing school hours and tuition hours and offering incentives for taking shorter paternity leave. We assume that organisations will work closely with social partners. Together they will strive to make better use of the female employment potential in response to the pressures of the skills shortage. Subsequently, this will lead to an increase in flexible working models for men and women and create more part-time or “short” full time jobs, along with a series of other measures which will help to improve the balance of family life and working life.

If we do not succeed in increasing the employment rate of women under 40 years old so that it is level with that of our northern European neighbours, the number of employed persons will fall even further by half a million. The decline between 2010 and 2030 would therefore amount to 3.36 million instead of 2.87 million. That would mean that the drop in the labour force would be almost a fifth higher than what we have predicted in our forecast.

Longer working hours

According to our estimations, the average annual working hours per employed person will rise by 4 % by the year 2030, whereas it fell by 8 % between 1995 and 2010. We believe that this will above all be possible with longer working hours in part-time employment. Thus, we assume that the scope for marginal employment will decrease and that the working hours of part-time employees who work on a regular part-time basis will increase, so that the average working hours of part-time employees will rise by a sixth. This would mean an increase of 2.8 hours for an average 20-hour week job. This way, the decline in labour supply can be offset by 1.4 million part-time workers or 0.7 million full time workers.


We presume that the labour market reforms of 2005 concerning benefits will not be reversed. This means that unemployment will continue to be a considerable financial risk for the workforce. Thanks to the demographic effects, the targeted use of instruments in labour market policies (especially with regard to training measures), a more highly qualified population and the ever decreasing number of young people who do not have any qualifications, it may be possible to successfully bring a significant number of unemployed persons into employment during the forecast timeframe. In our forecast model, the number of unemployed persons will thus fall from 3.1 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in the year 2030.

Opportunities from vocational training

The lack of skilled workers will lead to increased investment in human capital. Thus, the structure of labour supply will fit demand better. The overall qualification structure will thus be determined by a chimney effect, wherein at the upper end there is a strong demand for tertiary education graduates and all the other levels are pulled upwards. The population is aware that the only way to get a secure job with a higher salary and less stress is by having a good educational background. This would increase participation in formal vocational training and would reduce the proportion of the unskilled workforce. On the other hand, we presume that politics and organisations will embrace extensive measures in order to increase participation in vocational training and to reduce the proportion of the workforce who do not have any formal training at all.

On considering this, the influx of employees who completed tertiary education will further increase. Due to a decline of the younger population, however, this will happen at a significantly slower pace. The proportion of tertiary education graduates among employed persons will rise from 17 % in 2010 to 26 % in 2030.

These higher qualifications will not be at the expense of those who completed the dual training system. Nevertheless, demographics will cause the number of people with dual training to fall. Dual training will maintain its relative importance if it manages to integrate more youths from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds into the dual training system. This predominantly means that far more young people with immigration backgrounds will be involved in the labour force.

This is the only way to successfully achieve a considerable reduction in the proportion of the labour force without formal qualifications, namely from 22 % in 2010 to 14 % in the year 2030. This would be in contrast to the past when this proportion remained constant over a long period of time. If, however – contrary to our assumptions – it is not possible to significantly reduce the proportion of people with a low skills level, but nevertheless manage to increase the proportion of highly skilled workers, the unemployment rate would be higher and it would give rise to severe labour shortages in the intermediate skills level.

Lifelong learning will become the most important source of education

In view of the ageing population, the supply of highly skilled workers will only succeed if Germany develops a continuing training scheme with a certified system that has national standards across the whole country. This appears to be all the more urgent as a major part of adjustments in the labour market is due to approximately 2 million people changing occupational careers over the year. Considering the declining working population and the fact that the workforce is aging, it is crucial that this dynamic and flexibility are maintained. We hope that the government will play an active part in this and that the cursory character of continuing training which has been in force until now will be transformed into a solid and clearly structured system with training standards for lifelong learning. This involves updating the knowledge of university graduates as well as supplementing the now highly specialised courses with associated fields of knowledge. It will be the key task of tertiary education institutions to develop appropriate offers. This includes promoting career development by offering suitable courses to graduates from dual vocational training. Modularised systems appear to be most appropriate for increasing participation in lifelong learning. Last but not least, government funding for lifelong learning is also a crucial factor, especially since there will be savings from initial vocational training due to the declining number of children. Increased participation in continued training will not succeed if employees and organisations have to cover all of the direct and indirect costs of the training themselves.

Risk of insufficient training investments

If, contrary to our assumptions, the trend of highly skilled workers does not come into force and the number of graduates from vocational training programmes in all sectors stays constant, the number of graduates from tertiary education will fall by 30 % per year between 2010 and 2030 instead of our estimated 10 %. This may happen because the catch-up effect from the education reform is exhausted, there is no increase in the number of people who completed their school education, the stronger integration of youths from underprivileged backgrounds is not successful or vocational training cannot be developed any further. In return, the fall in the number of people who completed dual vocational training would not be as high – only 20 % instead of 30 %. Yet the number of young people without any vocational training would be 21 % higher than what is stated in the results of our model. This would not only lead to higher unemployment, but would also restrict growth potential of the already strained labour market from being exhausted. We expect that such an unfa­vourable development would have negative effects on the structural transition of the German economy towards knowledge-based services, and would encumber productivity of the overall economy and the competitiveness of organisations.

Integration and qualified immigration

In our view, the lack of skilled workers will lead to immigration policies being developed further so that from the year 2020 net immigration will be 200 000 people per year. Most importantly, the rise of highly skilled immigration workers will continue as it has done in the past. If immigration policies make it easier for qualified and highly skilled workers to enter the German labour market, the employment rate among immigrants will rise. As immigration rates are likely to be strongly determined by employers’ demands, there will be a more accurate selection procedure from the start which takes the immigrants’ occupations into account. This will mean that the gulf between formal qualifications and actual occupational tasks, which has been very distinct until now, will gradually diminish.

Regarding the applicability of qualifications, the forecast assumes substantial and sustainable changes in both education policy and employers’ behaviour. This includes the implementation of the law of recognition (Anerkennungsgesetz), in-depth consultations with new immigrants, improved validation of foreign degrees and a higher participation rate of immigrants in adaptive vocational training.

If it is not possible to realise the supposed net immigration and the migration balance remains zero over the forecast period, the working age population would be 3.3 million lower and labour supply would fall by around 2.5 million. Politics has the great challenge of setting suitable regulations and conditions in place so that employable immigrant workers are able to use their skills and competencies in the German labour market. Policy actors and labour administration can make a large contribution in this matter by reducing prejudices and helping employers to enhance their knowledge on the specific experiences and competencies of foreign workers. If this is not successfully implemented, unemployment will rise and the supply of highly skilled workers will fall. Thus, the shortages on the supply side of the labour market would intensify.

Effect of the German skills strategy on labour market participation and working hours

The present forecast assumes that the trend of a rising participation rate together with the changes set out above will continue. According to the national accounts concepts2) which we have used, the overall participation rate will rise from 82.8 % in 2010 to 85.0 % in 2030. The participation rate among women will rise by four percentage points to 81.5 % and among men it will rise by 0.5 percentage points to 88.5 %.

 Participation rate according to age and gender
according to VGR-definition

Figure 2: Participation rate according to age and gender
according to VGR-definitionParticipation rate according to age and gender

Source: Economix

We assume that the participation rate among older men and women will significantly increase (Figure 2). Thus, the participation rate of 60–64 year old men will rise by 12.8 percentage points to 69.5 % by the year 2030 and for women in this age group it will rise by 13 percentage points to 55 %. Labour market participation will rise in much the same way among workers who are older than this. Among younger people, it will almost exclusively be women who contribute to the expansion of labour supply. In the age group of 30 to 40 year olds, participation rates will rise by approximately 7 percentage points to almost 90 %. While childcare facilities are being expanded, falling participation rates among women with young children, which has become the norm over several decades, will disappear by the year 2030, but the quota will still remain lower than for men. The male participation rate for this phase will be slightly lower.

A rising participation rate is of major significance for the development of labour supply. Labour supply will decline by a further 1.7 million if the higher rate among women under 40 does not come about, if the rise in the participation rate among older men and women is only half of what we have calculated and if higher participation among immigrants does not occur. This means that there will be a total loss of 4.4 million by the year 2030 which will have noticeable effects on economic growth due to the lack of skilled labour. According to our calculations, economic growth will slow down by 0.2 percentage points to 1.3 % per year.

Working hours for women who work part-time will also have a similar effect on economic growth: if working hours are not successfully increased as we have assumed they will be, economic growth will be 0.1 percentage points lower. Conversely, the rise in employment and the extension of working hours for part-time workers will result in a growth of 0.3 percentage points. In view of the already slow growth, this effect would not be insignificant.

Demand for workers

Supply restrictions determine growth

Even by implementing a proactive policy, the growth potential of the German economy over the next 20 years will increasingly be determined by labour shortages. The shrinking population will continue to have a lack of suitably skilled staff, as can already be seen today. Organisations will react to labour shortages and – despite a considerable increase in productivity – they will not be able to fully realise their expansion plans. They will import services and primary products and/or outsource abroad where the workers they need can be found. Under these conditions, domestic growth will be determined by the growth in labour productivity, and organisations will do everything they can to, at least partly, compensate for the falling number of available workers. As a consequence of these alternatives that organisations will revert to, labour shortage is not fully measureable as a gap. Rather, it is expressed as missed opportunities for growth.

Based on the strength of today’s German economy, we estimate that GDP growth will be comparatively high but will then ease off because of labour shortages. We have calculated an average of 1.5 % real GDP growth per year until the year 2030. Productivity growth will be approximately 1.7 % per year. However, demographic decline will mean that real income per capita will increase by 1.9 % per year. The prosperity of the population is not jeopardised in any way, although it will take a lot to increase productivity.

As described above, the decline in economic growth may be much more extreme if it is not possible to limit labour shortages and if labour productivity is not successfully increased. It would also be more extreme if the economy were not restructured into a knowledge-based economy. Finally, we have also assumed in our forecast that the risks of the euro crisis, risks of intensifying conflicts in the Middle East, risks of climate change and other currently unknown crises will be able to be kept under control. Understanding the need for multilateral compromises will – hopefully – keep national interests within limits and ensure that major crises can be avoided.

Structural change – from a service economy into a knowledge-based economy

Germany will evolve into a service economy. In the business services sector alone, we calculate that 750 000 jobs will be created by the year 2030. As a result of this, jobs will be created in the financial services sector and the social services sector (education, healthcare and social affairs). However, there will be a significant loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector, trade and transport sector and in the public administration sector. The manufacturing sector alone will cut back on 770 000 jobs, the trade and transport sector will cut 610 000 jobs and the public administration sector will cut 460 000 jobs. The construction industry, energy, water and recycling and agriculture will not generate many new jobs.

There are numerous reasons for these structural shifts in employment:

  • The growing success of China and India in the high technology industries will force German industry to further reduce domestic production capacity and, at the same time, expedite specialisation in technical services. This will substantially contribute to stronger employment growth in the business services sector.
  • At the same time, industrial companies will secure their leading role in the global value chains with financial investments abroad. The German economy will become an investor rather than a producer and will thus follow USA and Great Britain down the route of de-industrialisation. In parallel, growing personal assets will call for competent financial services and both of these are likely to lead to a rebound in the financial business.
  • Information technology will boost its rationalization effects. There will be advancements in digitalising information, networking will grow and the automation of processing information will increase. This will have an impact on sectors with large administrative departments, and especially on commerce, publishing and the media sector. The production effects of information technology will, however, arise in other parts of the world.
  • The growing importance for environmental protection will limit jobs in the energy sector. Rising energy prices will set further incentives to improve energy efficiency. Positive employment effects will be visible in construction, agriculture and electrical engineering.
  • The shrinking population will have a negative impact on a range of economic activities, for example the building and housing sector, education and other public sectors. On the other hand, the ageing population and the development of childcare facilities will contribute to the expansion of welfare and healthcare services. We assume that the population will politically assert their strong interest for state financed personal services and thus, the negative employment effect of depopulation will partly be compensated for in these areas.  

Germany’s comparative advantage is seen as increasingly being in knowledge-based services. Human capital is the resource of the future, which does not only promise success in international markets but also triggers the strongest development effects in domestic markets. The structural change that we are counting on is therefore strongly linked to human capital investments by all stakeholders, the state, businesses and the population. This therefore needs to be the central point of the structural policy. In contrast, personal and social services will remain expensive and will need to be financed by governmental redistribution if broad segments of the population are to be serviced.

Structural change by occupations

Sectoral restructuring will be a heavy burden for employees who work in manufacturing jobs as well as for those in administrative and office jobs. In manufacturing occupations, employment will fall by approximately one million and in administrative and office jobs it will fall by 800 000. In comparison, the number of managers and senior officials will rise by 170 000. This seems to be typical for technical and organisational advancement, which tends to save on low-skilled labour while favouring more complex tasks.

The decline in manufacturing jobs in a situation of general labour shortage means that in these occupational segments business will see the biggest opportunities to economise on workers. Further automation in industrial production and increased use of information and communication technology will form the foundation for this. Production and services will be outsourced abroad more and more. Administrative and office jobs will not escape. Furthermore, this process will be strengthened by rising imports of high quality industrial goods and services. Yet the number of technical jobs will increase. The globalisation link can also be seen here, whereby technical services become the most important product in the industry. The volume of trading goods will increase as part of globalisation (but also as a result of growing e-commerce) and this will require more people to be employed in transport jobs. Finally, the number of salesmen in various fields (trade, transport, finance etc.) will also increase.

In the education sector and the social sector, we estimate that the number of employees will fall by 80 000. This will only negatively affect teachers (-180 000), whereas the number of employed workers in social care and welfare jobs will increase (+120 000) due to a high demand for nursing and care services. For the same reasons, we estimate that there will be a significant increase of 180 000 in healthcare jobs and 110 000 in personal service jobs. The number of creative jobs (artists, journalists) will, in our opinion, increase by 90 000 because art and culture have an ever-increasing importance in growing prosperity.

This upgrading of the overall employment profile will only be possible if the number of workers without a specific occupation, that is, without any particular vocational training, declines. With intensified activity in the so-called transitional system for vocational training, and with the help of advancing professional validation, we assume that the number of workers without a specific occupation can be reduced by 170 000.

The qualification-specific restructuring

We expect that both economic restructuring and the pressure to increase productivity will lead to enhanced qualifications among workers by the year 2030. Employment of workers with a degree from tertiary training will rise by 3 million, giving a total of 10.4 million (Figure 3), which is a 40 % increase. Also, the number of persons employed with dual vocational training will remain significant and will only marginally drop by 210 000 giving a total of 20.5 million (-1 %). On one hand, redeployment will be achieved by reducing the number of employees with technical college training. In this segment, we expect a decline of 780 000 employees (-19 %). On the other hand, the number of employed persons with no formal training will drop by 3.4 million giving a total of 5 million (-41 %). Training efforts will focus attention on the lower end of the qualification spectrum. This means that increased effort will be put into integrating youths from educationally deprived backgrounds, as well as building on continued training. These are the prerequisites which will enable the economy to transform its skill requirements into effective labour demand.

 Persons employed by field of vocational training Changes between 2010–2030 (in 1000s)

Figure 3: Persons employed by field of vocational training
Changes between 2010–2030 (in 1000s)Persons employed by field of vocational training

Source: Economix

Lawyers, economists and social scientists will take the majority of additional jobs in tertiary education. 1.3 million of the 3 million newly created tertiary jobs will be allotted to these occupations. Management and finance will be the core competencies of economy-oriented occupations. We also expect a significant increase in employment in the fields of mathematics and natural sciences, while the number of engineers will only increase slightly. This is associated with the growing importance of research and development compared to the production of goods. Furthermore, the demand for humanities and cultural studies experts will rise, as will the number of physicians.

Technical college graduates will, in our opinion, increasingly be replaced by bachelor graduates. At the same time, technical jobs will be adapted so that they fit the competence profile of the higher proportion of graduates.

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