Dresden (dpa/sn) - The Saxon Crafts Day sees an upswing after two years of the corona pandemic as a distant prospect. On Monday in Dresden, Vice President Tobias Neubert named delivery bottlenecks, increased costs for materials and energy and a shortage of skilled workers as the reasons for the subdued mood. Russia's war against Ukraine has exacerbated the turmoil. The prices for primary products rose almost weekly, the construction costs had exploded. A serious calculation could hardly be made. Cost increases could only be passed on to customers to a limited extent.
"We haven't had such a confusing situation in everyday business for a long time, especially since staff shortages due to corona infections are putting additional pressure on handicraft businesses. Galloping purchase prices, for example for wood, steel, petroleum products and gas, are causing us the most problems," said Neubert. Politicians are expected to provide tax relief for companies.
Neubert also presented the results of the spring business survey. Accordingly, 51 percent of the companies involved rated their business situation as good, 38 as satisfactory and 11 percent as bad. In the spring 2019 survey - i.e. before the pandemic - it was 68 percent (good), 28 percent (satisfactory) and 4 percent (poor). In most trades, sales and the order backlog remained stable compared to the time before the pandemic. 70 percent of the companies were able to push through higher prices on the market. 1585 craft businesses took part in the survey.
With a view to the shortage of skilled workers, Jörg Dittrich, President of the Crafts Day, called for more importance to be attached to dual vocational training. Following the example of Austria and Switzerland, the equivalence of professional and academic education should be legally anchored. Dittrich also proposed an "Excellence Initiative for Vocational Training". In addition, one can enhance the training through a qualified career orientation at the schools. As an example, the President named "practical business" as part of the curriculum and a voluntary year in the trades as an alternative to service in the armed forces and a voluntary social year.
There are currently 56,166 craft businesses registered in Saxony. The number of employees is estimated at more than 300,000. Around 12,000 young people are currently apprentices in the trade.