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Challenges and Chances of the Master Plan Crafts 2020

Hamburg's First Mayor, Hamburg's Minister of Economy, Transport and Innovation, and the president of the Hamburg Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts signed 2015 update

With the Master Plan Crafts 2020, the Hamburg Senate and the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts pursue a joint strategy to strengthen the skilled trades and crafts in the Hanseatic city. The action plan has been evaluated each year since 2011 and adapted to match trends and developments. Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz, the city state’s Minister of Economy, Transport, and Innovation, Frank Horch and Chamber President Josef Katzer now signed the fourth update in “The Elbtischler” workshop. One focus of the redesigned master plan is recruiting skilled employees. Furthermore, the measures for the integration of immigrants in qualification and employment have proven to be very helpful.

The Key to Integration

“The Master Plan Crafts 2020 contains important measures for the integration of migrants and refugees, and not just since today. Together with the Senate, the skilled trades and crafts have already started years ago to integrant migrants, which currently is more urgent than ever”, says chamber president Josef Katzer. Hamburg thus wants to train migrants and refugees for jobs in the sector. Thus, they will be keeping the crafts and skilled trades as diversified and powerful as today, and have a good job. Examples of successful integration are two Hamburg-based training companies, “The Elbtischler” and “Zietz Elektrotechnik”. Key for the integration is to quickly learn the German language. In this field, companies are expecting better support from politics and administration, Katz added.

Language Skills Are Essential

“German language, language, and language again”, unanimously said Arno Zietz of “Zietz Electronics”, Boris Breiding and Florian von Tschammer of “The Elbtischler”. Tschammer added: “The certainty is needed that trainees and apprentices will finish their training and stay at least a couple of year as experts of their trade or craft.” In addition, the trainees will also need more help to guide them through their asylum procedure. The joinery employs a refugee from Togo as a carpenter helper. The electronics specialist Zietz is currently training a refugee from Afghanistan. As he quickly learned German, the young Muslim “has done well”, thus Arno Zietz, “He is very motivated”. For the challenges posed by cultural and religious differences, workable solutions will have to be found.

“Mission Future”

Introduced in 2015, the “Master Plan Crafts 2020” features additional concrete measures. For example, the project organises “matching skills in dual training occupations” for individual retraining of people with foreign qualifications together with guilds and enterprises. In the first half 2015, 46 immigrants began the training; 17 meanwhile have reached the full recognition of their training, 8 of them were offered full employment by their training company. Furthermore, the Hamburg Senate wants to integrate a consultancy project of the ESF project “Mission Future” into its “Work and Integration for Refugees” (WE) programme. “Mission Future” has been advising 35 refugees since 1 January 2015 in regard to training or retraining.

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The master plan aims at creating good conditions for the craft as a stable economic factor in town. The measures will be jointly implemented by 2020, in the following fields of activity: skilled workers and training, areas for businesses, promotion of crafts, skilled trades and innovation, start-ups and business succession, public procurement, quality policy, environment, and image campaign for crafts and skilled trades. The scheme will be funded by money allocated to the master plan in Hamburg’s budget and federal funds.

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