The lack of skilled labour is the biggest problem. According to a study by the Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (Institute for SME Research) in Bonn, almost one in two (44%) of the 1 100 companies surveyed cited a shortage of skilled workers as a key challenge. This means that this topic has been at the top of the SME Future Panel’s list of difficulties for the third year running. The data shows that firms with a very good order stock, which have been on the market for less than ten years, are particularly affected. Respondents complain that candidates are not well qualified and are therefore worried that they will find it difficult to manage the generational shift in the company. The study identifies the “increasing competitive pressure” as the second biggest challenge for companies, including higher energy costs, which is the third biggest challenge. Entrepreneurs see themselves as facing the challenge of meeting rising wage, material and energy costs. Almost 1/3 of managers even expressed fears that their own company would not be competitive in the long-term.


Our German partner association Dehoga is also sounding the alarm – 65 000 employees are missing in the hospitality industry. According to Dehoga, there are currently more than 65 000 workers missing from hotels and restaurants in Germany. Many restaurants are now reducing their offering due to lack of skilled workers, and there are more and more day-offs because there are no staff available. According to Dehoga’s monthly surveys, labour shortages are regularly one of the biggest challenges for businesses. The German Federal Employment Office reported 33,160 vacancies in the hospitality industry in June, but it is assumed that the actual demand is at least double this figure, as many companies no longer report vacancies to employment offices or job centres.