There have also been several challenges for the regional labor market in 2022: the aftermath of the Corona pandemic, Ukraine war, inflation, rising energy and raw material prices or material shortages. In addition, there are increasingly noticeable labor shortages due to demographic change. Many employers are therefore trying to hold on to their employees for as long as possible and utilize their expertise for the company. Despite the particular challenges in the region, the labor market was stable overall in 2022.
Situation for trainees
The aftershocks of school closures, only very few career guidance offerings and only very slowly restarting opportunities for company internships show strong effects on the regional training market. Even in 2022, only one career orientation exchange, organized by the regional agency, took place with "Talente im Dialog". Lack of orientation, fear of the future and the experienced instability of proven systems have contributed to a clear change in values among many young people. Thus, a sense of purpose and future prospects are playing an increasingly important role in career choices. Companies have to learn how to attract trainees, because the supply is significantly greater than the interest in applying.
Overall, the skilled labor situation in the region has changed significantly. Sectors particularly affected by the pandemic, such as the hospitality industry and retail, have permanently lost many employees to other sectors. In the meantime, the effects of demographic developments have grown into a macroeconomic problem that will continue to exacerbate the overall labor shortage.
By 2027, around 11 million people will have left the labor market for reasons of age. All efforts are therefore being directed at narrowing the emerging gap of around 40 percent in the lack of potential replacements. The levers are also in place in the Bonn/Rhine-Sieg region:
- Strengthening vocational training and continuing education.
- Improving labor market participation.
- Increasing productivity through smart work organization.
- Even more digitization/CI.
- The targeted immigration of skilled workers.
In all of the above areas, there is a wide range of projects and commitment that achieves impact particularly when activities are networked.
Bonn/Rhine-Sieg Regional Agency
The Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Regional Agency represents the objectives and funding instruments of NRW's labor market policy and the European Social Fund in the new funding phase 2021ff. As a transfer office between the EU, NRW and regional interests, the Regional Agency networks the economic and labor market policy actors in order to launch sustainable projects to strengthen the regional labor market. With the NRW Skilled Workers Initiative, the previous focus areas of "training and continuing education," "securing skilled workers," and "digital, social, and ecological transformation" are receiving an even stronger focus on the increasingly tightening labor market situation.
Alliance for Skilled Workers Bonn/Rhein-Sieg
In the eleven years of its existence, the motto "Working together for solutions" has perhaps never been more important. The close professional exchange and strategic cooperation between the labor market players enables a culture of trust that is the envy of many regions in Germany.
The development from a shortage of skilled workers in individual sectors to a general shortage of labor in almost all fields of work requires networked action more than ever. Under the leadership of the Bonn/Rhine-Sieg Regional Agency, the region's key labor market players have set out to develop and implement binding responses to the labor market challenges facing the region.
Companies and employees
In 2022, the regional economy again took up the challenges mentioned above and actively used the state and federal funding programs, which focus on strengthening internal business structures. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular were able to benefit from the programs and were advised by the regional agency on the funding opportunities and accompanied in the application process.
In addition to other, so in 2022 the funding programs "Potentialberatung NRW" and "Strengthened by the crisis" were implemented a total of 24 times, which corresponds to about 125 funded consulting days in SMEs.
Particular importance has also been attached to continuing vocational training in recent years. The changes in the world of work and the associated requirements mean that there is a great need for further training. Here, the "Bildungsscheck NRW" has once again proven to be an effective instrument, which was used a total of 991 times.
The high personnel development needs of the economy are also strengthened by support for individual commitment to further training. The state's "Perspectives in Working Life" (PIE) program includes an advisory service for employed persons who want or need to reorient themselves professionally. Interested individuals can take advantage of up to nine individual counseling sessions as part of a career path planning process. In addition, people with a migration background have the opportunity to receive advice on the topic of "Recognition of vocational qualifications". Both tools were used by a total of 785 people.
Youth and profession
The "NRW Training Program" provided professional support for young people with support needs on their way to training. At the same time, training companies received a financial subsidy towards the training allowance for additionally created training positions. A total of 39 young people were placed in training and supported until May 2023. The new "Ausbildungswege NRW" program, which started on July 1, 2023 and will replace the old program, offers an extension, because in addition to the proven coaching, placement and financial support, it is also possible to start training via a training provider. The aim is to strengthen the training capabilities of young people and to secure the next generation of employees in companies.
For people with family responsibilities, part-time vocational training can be a good start to working life. The program "Part-time Vocational Training - Accompanying Entry - Opening Perspectives" (TEP), funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the European Social Fund, supports this. With the 28 places available in 2022, 27 participants could be supported and placed on the path to vocational training. The regional agency coordinates these programs, provides technical support and ensures the results-oriented networking of all the players involved. In addition, in 2022 the regional training consensus was again moderated together with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the regional transition management from school to work was supported strategically and operationally.
Target group support
Unfortunately, the past year has also shown that the issues of "precarious employment" as well as "labor exploitation" are not marginal phenomena in our region.
The "Beratungsstellen Arbeit" play an important role in combating poverty and social inequality. Here, unemployed persons or persons threatened by unemployment can obtain neutral and independent advice.
The counseling center in Bonn-Tannenbusch cooperates closely with the relevant local partners, such as the job centers, the employment agency and, in particular, with the counseling center for the Rhine-Sieg district in Siegburg. In total, 933 people in the region received individual and professional support last year.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)