Shortage of staff: is now the big chance for a career change?

Updated on 07/01/2022 at 09:45

  • Whether at the bakery or at the airport: Workers are desperately needed in Germany.
  • Is this a great opportunity to change careers?

More career topics can be found here

Summer is coming, holidays are coming – but more and more (tourist) planes are staying on the ground in Germany. There is a shortage of staff, not only at German airports. So is it time to change careers? Can the unskilled get a job this summer? An expert provides information.

Where is there currently a severe staff shortage?

Lufthansa has already announced that it will cancel 3,100 of its total of 80,000 flights in the middle of the summer holiday season. Other airlines reported the same. The reason is always the same: lack of staff. Matthias Hertle from the Federal Employment Agency (BA) knows the problem:Skilled workers are scarce, for example, in construction, trade and IT professions, as well as childcare, medical professions, sales and among professional freight drivers and train drivers.’

After more than two years of the pandemic, there is a shortage of staff everywhere, because during the lockdown and related short-term work, many workers had left, for example, the hospitality industry. According to the newspaper “Zeit”, the association Food-Genuss-Gaststätten (NGG) therefore spoke of “stuttering”: “It is now important to hire specialists and service staff with good conditions in order to be prepared for the onslaught of travelers.”

Where could you even start without training?

“The hotel, catering and events industry has rebounded significantly this year,” says BA’s Hertle in an interview with our editors. “Things are looking up for travel companies and airlines as well. This will certainly open up career opportunities in the summer.”

According to Hertle, hotel and restaurant businesses recorded the biggest losses among employees subject to social security contributions as a result of the pandemic and were sometimes desperate for employees. “Companies employ assistants in most sectors. Applicants can look around, for example, in logistics, hotels and restaurants, manufacturing and tourism.”

Where would you have good salary prospects?

Something is happening in almost all tariff areas. For example, the Food, Entertainment and Restaurant Association (NGG) and the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga) have agreed on significant wage increases. According to “Zeit”, the basic salary is almost everywhere more than twelve euros an hour. That’s an increase of up to 30 percent. Other branches report something similar.

However, Matthias Hertle from the Federal Employment Service criticizes simply focusing on good salary prospects when choosing a career: “We recommend that for a viable career start and qualification possibilities, you first talk to our advisers on site at the employment office or at the work center”.

Has refugee status also opened up employment opportunities, for example as a teacher?

No, it is still not possible to become a school teacher without the relevant training. But a similar job is also imaginable without pedagogical training for care activities, such as integration assistant or school assistant. “In this context, it is not conclusive that people are currently coming to us as refugees and seeking protection as a result of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” BA’s Hertle says.

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But why is it not possible to board overnight at the airport, for example? Why should you be prepared for a delivery time here?

“Airport operations require regular qualifications or training, so short-term assignments are not always possible,” explains Hertle of the Federal Employment Agency. However, this does not mean that employment at the airport is excluded. “It’s also a good idea to go to the employment office or job center for a consultation about the requirements for working at airports.”

Meanwhile, the federal government plans to “allow urgently needed personnel to enter the country from abroad for temporary work,” Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) told Bild am Sonntag. For example, they are going to be used in baggage handling for a few months from July. The aim is to bring a four-digit number of skilled workers from Turkey to Germany.

Sources used:

  • Interview with Matthias Hertle, representative of the Federal Employment Service in Nuremberg
  • Government announces deployment of foreign airport helpers
  • Lack of staff makes it difficult to restart the hospitality industry
  • Lufthansa stock slips: Lufthansa cancels another 2,200 flights over holiday season – Deutsche Bank research cuts Lufthansa target
  • This is how politicians want to help – federal government brings in guest workers due to airport chaos

About a fifth of workers in Germany are unable to comply with prescribed rest periods due to pressure. This was announced by the Federal Ministry of Labor in response to a request from the Links party. Certain occupational groups are particularly affected. (Teaser image: picture alliance/dpa/Christoph Söder)

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