07.08.2018

Skills shortage: The opportunity of the gap

The ‘baby boomer’ generation is retiring in the next few years, leaving behind large gaps in many industries. The subsequent article explores how the interim management industry can fill these gaps, and what this means for the working world.

Es besteht Bedarf an vielen Stellen, gerade im technischen Bereich. Interim Manager sollten die Situation nutzen.

Axel Kellermann

In many German companies an extensive personnel change is imminent. This is due to the baby boomers, which are the largest cohort in the history of the developed world, going into retirement in the coming years. With the departure of this generation from the working world countless long-term employees with extensive know-how and experience are leaving companies and markets. The members of this departing generation have often come from humble beginnings, having to fight their way to the top and have established vast technical and practical know-how over decades of work. “Today, and in future many positions are being vacated and they are leaving a vacuum which needs to be filled with skilled workers. This is creating a demand that interim managers should use to their advantage.” Says interim management professional, Axel Kellermann.

Tech Companies report slump

A current study by the research institute ‘Prognos’, from Basel, confirms this trend. By 2030 German companies could experience a shortage of 3 million skilled workers and up to 3.3 million by 2040. The researchers explain: “The half-life of knowledge continues to decrease. Therefore, we need increasingly more qualified workers. The gap in skilled labour is increasing, and is becoming an increasingly greater challenge for German companies.” Alongside the health and nursing sector the German tech sector is in a state of alarm. At the beginning of the year the institute of the German Economy in Cologne, reported 314.800 missing skilled workers in the sectors of mathematics, computer sciences, sciences, and engineering. According to the MINT-Spring report 2018, this trend has increased by 9% from the last year.

Change-management and the transfer of knowledge

“We are currently experiencing the beginning of this development. Soon there will be a change in demographic that will take place throughout the entire economy. Until appropriate structural reforms are made, flexible project managers are a great solution for companies”, according to Axel Kellermann. Due to many leadership positions being vacated there has been an increase in the need for change managers. They help guiding restructuring efforts, and can help facilitate the transfer of knowledge from the baby boomer generation to the future generations. “It is important to seize the opportunity presented by the aforementioned gap”, emphasizes Mr. Kellermann.

Foto: TommL/istockphoto.com
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the Team of proINject – Interim Networks
Change is a positive thing! We stand for successful transformations through forward-thinking process design and organisational development. We foster open, honest and well-balanced communication with all stakeholders.
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