Press release

Study Ecological Transformation in Schleswig-Holstein

By 2030 there will be a shortage of 120,000 skilled workers - from truck drivers to building technicians

What course does Schleswig-Holstein need to set on its way to becoming a modern green industrial state? To answer this question and develop a suitable strategy, the state government has now presented the study "Ecological Transformation in Schleswig-Holstein".

Commenting on the Prognos report, Economics and Labour Minister Claus Ruhe Madsen said:


According to Madsen, his house is planning a climate protection skilled labour programme in cooperation with partners from the economy that will secure the supply of skilled labour in important sectors. In building services engineering, for example, almost a third of the jobs are expected to be unfilled by 2030 - in absolute figures, that would mean more than 5,000 workers. "In the sector of vehicle guidance in road traffic, we even assume a lack of 10,000 workers - but without qualified workers in these positions, the energy turnaround will be difficult to implement," he said.

One of the key statements of the experts from the Prognos Institute commissioned to carry out the study: Assuming that there are no changes in labour force participation rates and occupational preferences by 2030, there will be a total lack of 120,000 workers in seven years. Every tenth job could then not be filled. Currently, there is already a shortage of 80,000 workers - every 16th job remains vacant. In the future, the shortage will be greatest in many sectors relevant to climate protection. In these occupational groups, "in 80 percent of the cases there will be bottlenecks, some of them significant," the study says. 

As expected, the main reason for the increasing shortage is demographic change: without countermeasures, there will be 108,000 fewer people of working age living in Schleswig-Holstein in seven years than today, according to Prognos. The supply of labour will therefore fall much more sharply than demand, which will also shrink by 2030, but only by 40,000. In the short term until 2025, it will even increase slightly for the time being.

The shortage will be particularly severe among building technicians: Here, almost every third position will soon not be filled - that is a lack of a good 5,000 skilled workers in this profession alone. Drivers of excavators, lorries and buses are also urgently needed. There is also a large gap in other construction workers, such as construction planners, civil engineering workers and floor layers.

All these professions are important for climate protection because, for example, steps towards the energy turnaround, such as new wind farms or power lines, "usually first require a reconstruction or new construction of the infrastructure", write the experts. Environmental protection technicians, on the other hand, will tend to be too numerous in the future. Labour Minister Claus Ruhe Madsen Madsen told the Schleswig-Holstein newspaper (sh:z): "The study shows us that the climate saviours of tomorrow will not only come from the lecture halls - we also need those who will work in the front line.

Major problems also loom in sectors that are less important for climate protection. For example, in 2030 there will be a shortage of almost 11,000 employees in the group of educators and social workers, almost 10,000 in cleaning staff and almost 7,000 in tourism and gastronomy. To close the labour gap, the study authors recommend, among other things, advertising the shortage occupations in schools. "Targeted vocational orientation for occupations relevant to climate protection can help to get young people interested in these occupations," they write. In addition, in order to keep more university graduates in the country, students should be able to get in touch with local companies early on.

In this context, Madsen points to the "Welcome Centre" in Kiel planned by the state government under the umbrella of WT.SH to attract foreign professionals. They and interested companies are to be helped there in the often complicated dealings with authorities. "We don't want to chase the skilled workers away again with our bureaucracy, but support them as best we can," says Madsen. And further: "Beyond recruitment, we will also look at how existing staff in companies can be qualified in the context of climate change. There will be job profiles that will have to adapt in the context of ecological change so that they can continue to exist - so that we don't lose the employees in these occupational groups, there will have to be a well thought-out training and further education strategy."


Currently only available in German

Study: Ecological Transformation in Schleswig Holstein Consequences for the labour market and initial and continuing training up to 2030

Press release: SH Ministry of Economics, Kiel



About the Energieküste

The Schleswig-Holstein North Sea coast is Germany's future location for renewable energies. Experts, researchers, creative minds and energy enthusiasts are shaping a highly innovative energy system from existing resources here. To bundle their know-how, the districts of North Frisia, Dithmarschen, Steinburg and Pinneberg founded the umbrella brand and platform "Energieküste". The aim of the districts, which have joined together to form the “Regionale Kooperation Westküste” and are regarded as incubators for innovations in the field of renewable energies, is to strengthen the existing economy, attract new companies and skilled workers and create a concise image for the business location. The "Energieküste" is financed with funds from the “Regionale Kooperation Westküste” budget, supported by the state programme Economy, and the four districts of the “Regionale Kooperation Westküste”.

Your contact person for the Energieküste

Kirsten Voss

T +49 (0) 172 375 52 42

Nordfriesland mbH
Schloßstraße 7
25813 Husum