Consensus on jobs reached in Germany

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Article publication date: 1 July 2000




(2000), "Consensus on jobs reached in Germany", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 24 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Consensus on jobs reached in Germany

Consensus on jobs reached in Germany

Keywords: Germany, Unemployment, Employment protection

A broad-based agreement to combat unemployment has been reached between unions and employers in Germany through the intervention of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

Though the deal still faces further debate, the main points are clear:

  • more effort to get workers to retire at 60, to make way for younger people;

  • more part-time work pacts, also to create room for those at present unemployed; and

  • caution over the size of wage increases.

Herr Schröder himself felt confident enough to describe the agreement as "a fundamental change of course" growing naturally out of the continuation of the "Alliance for Jobs", launched just after the new coalition government took office in September 1998.

The agreement itself, issued earlier this year, said the parties recommend long-term pay policies oriented towards job creation in this year's round of wage talks:

The available margin for wage increases based on productivity growth will be used primarily for job-creating agreements ... Ways will be found to make possible early retirement for long-time social security insurees in acceptable terms for the persons concerned without creating additional burdens for the social security system.

These agreements might well be for specific regions or companies rather than covering a whole business sector. The aim is also expressed that there should be increased use of part-time employment for older workers.

The campaign to reduce unemployment among young people is still top priority. In 2000, another DM 2 billion is being set aside to extend it until December, during which time it is being fine-tuned in a number of ways. Apart from providing wider opportunities for youngsters to acquire a marketable skill, there is to be greater emphasis on giving employers a subsidy from public funds to encourage them to take people on.

Extra facilities will be provided for young people who have been jobless for three months or more. Special attention will also be given to the jobless young non-Germans who make up 16 per cent of all young jobless and 14.8 per cent of unsuccessful applications for an apprenticeship.

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