2023 full of anniversaries for trades sector
Hamburg’s Chamber of Crafts is gearing up to celebrate its 150th anniversary on April 28, 2023 beginning with a reception hosted by the senate in City Hall. All over Germany, chambers keep rolls of skilled craftspeople in which licensed trades such as bakers, opticians or hairdressers, but also unlicensed trades such as goldsmiths and silversmiths, photographers or cobblers are entered. Membership is subject to a fee. Initially bundled in the Chamber of Trades, the anniversary marks the founding of what later became the independent Chamber of Crafts and the beginning of self-governance for a good 15,000 skilled crafts businesses. Nowadays, these companies employ 105,000 people in 93 skilled trades and 54 similar professions.
15th anniversary of Elbcampus
The Elbcampus, the chamber's training and competence centre, is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. After opening its doors on September 13, 2008, the campus came first in the Chamber of Architects' Public Buildings category that same year. A stone's throw from Harburg train station, the 23,000-square-metre campus offers 600 workshops and 500 seminar places for apprentices and those seeking further training. Apart from vocational training and continuing education, the Elbcampus offers a wide range of consulting services, for instance, on environmental and climate protection and on the highly-charged issue of human resources throughout the industry.
15th anniversary of "Café Luise"
Later in 2023, "Café Luise, kleine Bäckerei" will celebrate its 15th birthday on August 1. Launched by baker Heiko Fehrs as a lone fighter in Fuhlsbüttel, the bakery now has three branches with a 65-strong workforce including six apprentices. The Chamber of Crafts offered a great deal of assistance starting up. "Hamburg offers good economic support in general, and thanks to the strong purchasing power at least in the suburbs of Fuhlsbüttel and Winterhude, which are essential to our business, the city is a great location," Fehrs commented. Last year, Hamburg topped German states with a purchasing power of a good EUR 27,600 per inhabitant. Fehrs, who relies on traditional craftsmanship and does entirely without ready-mixes or preservatives, says the surge in environmentally-aware people is boosting business, and noted: "High-quality food has become a status symbol. Good bread is now a highly sought-after food and is actually celebrated."
Confident outlook on next 15 years
Yet, a decreasing number of businesses are entered in the Chamber of Crafts register. Around 67 bakeries and 66 confectioneries can be found in Hamburg compared to 79 bakeries and 69 confectioners in 2013, according to Christiane Engelhardt, Press Officer at the Chamber of Crafts. Customers are keeping a tight grip on their purse strings in view of inflation, Fehrs pointed out, adding: "We have had a drop in sales, and that despite price increases. But at the end of the day, we have not lost any customers. Fortunately, our customers are apparently saving elsewhere and remaining loyal to us." The high standard of living in Hamburg also makes the city attractive. "Hamburg is attracting young people and that is a great help. We suffer more from the shortage of skilled labour and personnel than rising prices. That's why we have trainees." Asked about the next 15 years and a possible fourth shop, Fehrs cautioned, but expressed confidence: "Given the current situation, there is a general unwillingness to expand, so no. But if a great space opens up...who knows."