If you drive daily through Hamburg, you get a vivid presentation: The construction boom is noticeable in all corners of the city. In addition to houses and apartments, new office buildings and warehouses are being built – or a lot of renovation is taking place. And even outside of the Hanseatic city, there is hardly a section of the motorway where it is not widened or repaired. Of course, this does not cause any boredom among professionals in the construction and related trades, as is the case with Die ElbMonteure, who are currently installing ventilation systems in Hamburg's city center as an assembly service provider – with great views of the city.
Speaking of prospects, nationwide figures show that the construction industry has converted € 112 billion in 2017 – an impressive 5% more than in 2016. And in the current year as well, the order books are more crowded than they have been since the late 1990s. Forecasts for 2018 an annual turnover of 117 billion euros. The reasons for the construction boom are obvious: in addition to the continued good economic situation and the high demand on the housing market, the favorable interest rates and the money from the Federal Government's infrastructure plan also play a major role. Good for the construction industry, sometimes bad for clients.
Lots to do, too few specialists
Anyone who urgently needs a craftsman, needs a lot of patience: The construction boom is currently facing an extreme shortage of skilled workers, i. Waiting times are getting longer and longer for clients. The shortage of skilled workers applies to almost all trades, especially in the construction related trades – from the heating engineer to the sanitary specialist. Thus, the construction boom is braked despite low interest more and more by bottlenecks in craftsmen. In a recent study, the promotional bank KfW came to the conclusion that the shortage of skilled workers is currently the greatest risk for an expansion of construction activity in Germany. This is also felt by the large construction companies, which, although they receive a large number of orders, are sometimes unable to process them. In Germany, plumbers post an order backlog of 11 weeks. And filling an open job as a plumber takes an average of 5 months. This is also due to the fact that fewer and fewer young people in the labor market want to work on the construction site, because the image of an office job is much more "relaxed" than the hard work in the construction or construction related trades.
Especially in SHK-handicraft the shortage of skilled workers makes itself noticeable. Despite high order utilization, the number of employees in the HVAC sector has hardly increased in recent years. Accordingly, the "big" HVAC and home automation companies are concerned about the timely order processing to satisfy their customers. There is no question that the bottleneck also affects downstream industries, such as Building fittings. Despite top conditions such as low interest rates and rising incomes, the shortage of skilled workers in SHK-Handwerk slows down the momentum in the sale of valves.
Die ElbMonteure on the upswing
Patrick Hering, founder of Die ElbMonteure: "Faucets that can not be installed due to lack of manpower are sold less dynamically. For us as a contract partner or personnel leasing partner for specialist companies, this is a great opportunity that we have already grabbed. Our more than 320 fitters support customers in the fields of plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical engineering, ventilation, piping and building drying. Half of our mechanics are traveling in Hamburg, the rest acts with great passion on construction sites throughout Germany. ". For a long time, Die ElbMonteure have been relying on specialists of Eastern European descent who make up a large part of the assembly staff. Patrick Hering: "For me, only the good training, the experience in the field and the right mix of flexibility, diligence and reliability - no matter whether the good man is called Michael, Michal or Mikhail. And our clients agree that you can always rely on ElbMonteure. That's what counts at the end of the day. I am extremely proud of the guys, many of whom speak German so well that they could also work at the reception of a stock exchange company. But nothing will come of it, we need them ... ".