Shaping the structural change of the German economy in a smart and sustainable way
Digitalization and the course set to combat global warming are causing accelerated sectoral, qualification-related and regional structural change, which is accompanied by significant changes for the economy, labour market and (further) education system. The economy and the world of work will change significantly in the coming years. Added to this is demographic change with the growing need to secure skilled workers. This requires a greater degree of flexibility and willingness to change on the part of both companies and employees.
The German economy and labor market have already successfully undergone such structural changes several times in the past. However, none of this is a sure-fire success. Only with competitive companies can we help shape change, maintain growth and thus maintain prosperity and the high level of employment achieved, even in the current structural change, and if possible expand it further.
To this end, all players on the labor market must live up to their responsibilities: The main responsibility for shaping structural change lies with the companies and their employees themselves. Employers bear responsibility for their employees and ensure that the skilled labor base is maintained through their commitment to training and further education. As company partners, they work on practicable solutions at company level, and as collective bargaining partners, they create the appropriate framework for structural change in the respective sectors through collective agreements. For employees, individual security on the labor market will primarily be based on flexibility, willingness to change and further training, and thus a constantly updated employability.
The task of the state is to support companies and employees in shaping structural change. The best way to do this is to create the right framework conditions for a sustainable and competitive economy. Where necessary, the state - and in certain cases unemployment insurance, which is funded by employers and employees - should continue to actively support targeted further training through labor market policy instruments.