Knowledge-intensive businesses need more specialists

In the year 2007 one third of all newly hired employees having vocational training or an university diploma were taken on by research-intensive industrial companies or knowledge-intensive service providers. According to the IAB institute, back in the year 2000 this percentage was just 25%. The other side of the coin was revealed through a representative survey by the IAB among 16.000 businesses: in particular those companies which are part of the knowledge-intensive economy are more and more frequently unable to staff their vacancies.

According to the labour market researchers of the IAB in Nuremberg, whether companies succeed in finding all the specialists they need, however, depends on their own efforts. According to the above IAB survey, those businesses which make well-planned use of measures such as vocational training and further job training have less problems in recruiting the staff they need.

The percentage of those businesses which provide vocational training in knowledge-intensive fields of the economy is smaller than 53% which is the percentage of all German businesses providing vocational training in proportion to all German businesses which are entitled to provide this kind of training. Even though 66% of research-intensive industries such as mechanical or electrical engineering provide vocational training, only 44% of knowledge-intensive service fields such as electronic data processing or research and development do so.

However, the probability for trainees in knowledge-intensive fields to receive a permanent job by the company they are trained in amounts to 72% which is significantly higher than the average percentage (62%) of companies which keep their trainees after their vocational training is finished.

The study also revealed that 20% of companies in Germany are part of the so-called knowledge-intensive economy. In total, one quarter of all German employees work in this sector of the economy. By international comparison among industrialized countries, Germany ranks second with regard to the contribution of research-intensive industries and knowledge-intensive services to the overall national value added. The so-called knowledge-intensive economy in Germany generated about one third of total turnover generated by the German economy as a whole. Only in Switzerland this percentage is even higher.

The findings of the IAB survey are available on the internet. GERMAN