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Help for the trades: Senate adopts action program


Craft businesses in Berlin have many problems. The Senate wants to help solve some of them. To this end, it adopted the "Action Program 2024-2026" on Tuesday, as Senator for Economic Affairs Franziska Giffey (SPD) announced.

There are more than enough concerns in the skilled trades sector: a lack of interest in apprenticeships among school leavers, a shortage of skilled workers, too few women, too few young master craftsmen or difficulties in finding a successor. The action plan comprises 26 individual measures that address such problem areas and were developed together with the Chamber of Crafts.

Drawing attention to career opportunities in the skilled trades

For example, more attention should be drawn to career opportunities in the skilled trades during careers guidance in schools. Students will be given more opportunities to get to know craftsmanship in school workshops. There are plans to provide more support for dual courses of study related to the skilled trades, offer workshops for young women in the skilled trades to make it easier for them to network and provide more affordable accommodation for trainees in the skilled trades. A digital succession exchange for the skilled trades is also planned.

"Honor the trades": Improving the perception of craft businesses

A key question is how to ensure that skilled trades businesses can find enough skilled workers and young talent, said Giffey. For young people, this is often also a question of image. "These are professions where you have to be really good at what you do and can also earn real money," said Giffey. However, some young people do not perceive it that way. Yet the skilled trades are also a veritable economic factor in Berlin with around 29,500 businesses, 182,000 employees and a good 8,500 trainees. Giffey called for a return to the old saying "Honor the skilled trades".

ID card to enable discounts for master craftsman students

As a sign of recognition, it is therefore also planned to introduce an ID card for master craftsman students, which will allow discounts at museums, theaters or swimming pools, for example - similar to the student ID card. Even more important: from 2024, young master craftsmen are to receive a bonus of 5,000 euros after passing their master craftsman's examination, and female master craftsmen 6,000 euros. 1.2 million euros have been earmarked for this this year, and 2.2 million next year. Why do women get more? "We want to create an additional incentive to achieve a more balanced ratio," said Giffey. So far, there have been significantly more men who have opted for this further qualification.

Program with 26 measures

The "Action Program" is nothing new; Berlin's skilled trades and the Senate have been working together for a long time. Such agreements on measures have already been reached six times, most recently with 28 measures for the period from 2021 to 2023 - some of them with a similar thrust. Carola Zarth, President of the Chamber of Crafts, said that the Senate and the Chamber of Crafts had developed the 26 measures to support the skilled crafts sector and promote its sustainable development. It is now to be implemented over the next two and a half years.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 5 July 2024
Last updated: 5 July 2024

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