"Skilled Workers as a Location Factor"

Keynote Speech by WIFO Director Christoph Badelt at Future Day Tyrol 2019
"The availability of qualified workers is becoming increasingly decisive for the business location and also for prosperity", explained WIFO Director Christoph Badelt during his keynote speech on Future Day Tyrol on 25 April 2019 in the Swarovski Manufactory in Wattens in front of around 250 guests from business, science and politics. According to Badelt, the shortage of skilled workers is therefore increasingly becoming a problem.

In many areas, such as macroeconomic stability, infrastructure and security, Tyrol has excellent figures in international comparison. However, Badelt also identified a need for improvement, for example in terms of digital skills. Demographic data also led to the conclusion that the number of apprentices will stagnate or fall in the coming years. Badelt therefore called for "getting more out of the population", i.e. also promoting women and older workers.

Tyrol's Governor Günther Platter stressed that efforts to make teaching and further training more attractive must be intensified in the broad sense: "Turning a few cogs will not be enough. I see the raising of awareness as particularly important – today's Future Day in Tyrol should also contribute to this." Tyrol is already on the right track with measures for career orientation or the improvement of training opportunities – for example in nursing care. "We will not only take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitisation, but will also raise awareness in our state to the effect that all age groups and occupational groups will take a positive view of this", said Platter.

At a round table, Minister of Economic Affairs Margarete Schramböck, Regional Economic Councillor Patrizia Zoller-Frischauf and Regional Labour Market Councillor Beate Palfrader exchanged views with entrepreneurs and skilled workers. The discussion focused in particular on the question of how to secure the demand for skilled workers in the future.

"Our Tyrolean companies rely on their excellently trained specialists. The number of apprentices has risen slightly again recently, but many companies still report on the challenges of finding enough qualified employees. Politics and business are working in partnership to offer the best possible framework conditions in order to guarantee attractive apprenticeships. Digitisation will bring with it professions that we do not yet know today. This is why we must now set the course to make our companies and their skilled workers fit for the future," says Zoller-Frischauf.