In this text, the DGB develops proposals from a trade union point of view, on how to tackle the emerging structural transformation that will affect large parts of the manufacturing industry.
Given the importance of this sector, it is justifiable for the state to use public funds to accompany these structural changes, especially since part of the changes are also a result of state intervention. The primary focus should be set on continuing education and training. The arguments made against subsidized training can be largely refuted in this context. Continuing education and training can be supported by the counselling services of the Employment Agencies. Company training plans can assure that no group of employees is left behind and that the trainings that are carried out are future-oriented. Finally, the financial participation of employers is also a guarantee that no “training for stock” will take place.
The instrument of short-time-work must also come into use. However, the conditions in which it can be employed should be expanded and tailored to meet the current challenges. Short-time-work should also be possible in case of a “technological and ecological transformation, leading to massive and rapid changes in the conditions of production”. The IG Metall proposal of a “transformation short-time-work allowance” provides a good basis for this discussion.
Another potential source for skilled workers are the currently unemployed persons. Studies show that more unemployed persons would undergo a vocational training if the financial framework conditions were better. The DGB has proposed that an additional allowance should be granted to this group during measures of further education. Such an allowance would particularly support the recipients of minimum income provisions, of whom a large number doesn’t have any completed vocational training.
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