The city is growing again, and this new vigour is spreading into its surroundings. In 2018 alone, Chemnitz companies used the “Chemnitz zieht an” skilled labour portal to find some 2,300 qualified workers, and unemployment dropped by a good third. The University of Technology is considered Saxony’s best university for spin-offs.

These are all perfect conditions for starting anew in Chemnitz. The city is happy to welcome new citizens!

What does Chemnitz offer employees?

Like many other cities in East Germany, Chemnitz struggled for a long time with high depopulation. This trend has reversed: people born in Chemnitz (some when it was still Karl-Marx-Stadt) are returning. The city is considered an insider tip among well-trained skilled workers from all over Germany and abroad, wanting to make their life plans come true at the international businesses and start-ups there.

Whatever questions you may have about working and living in Chemnitz, a capable contact person is always available to help. At the "Chemnitz zieht an" skilled labour portal, well over 100 partner companies introduce themselves and list vacancies. The site also assists people wanting to move to Chemnitz in ways that go beyond jobs listings, for example helping to find housing, early years childcare or a suitable job for their partner. Among other things, the skilled labour portal offers companies the chance to show off Chemnitz to their applicants unconventionally, via an untouristy guided tour.

There are long-term plans to firmly establish and improve the comprehensive medical care already offered to everyone in the region, with skilled workers in the healthcare sector benefiting from the "NEW HEALTH" initiative. This involves stakeholders from the region and beyond working with the City of Chemnitz to train their staff locally, retain them as employees and attract new workers. Targeted CPD is arranged, for example, in hospitals and medical practices for young doctors en route to becoming specialists. The network helps those planning to settle in the area with every possible need, advising on applications or admission restrictions. The professionalised nursing and care sector is also being overhauled, both to counteract the shortage of skilled workers and to improve employees’ living conditions. The skilled labour alliance’s projects not only create discussion among healthcare professionals, but also ensure that they make a personal connection with the other parties and their personal concerns.

Retail and food businesses in Chemnitz city centre present themselves on the "Chemnitz City" online portal. A network of property owners, hoteliers, retailers, restaurateurs, companies and service providers from Chemnitz collaborate together and coordinate their projects, speaking with one voice. Necessary measures such as investment in infrastructure, vacant property management and events are co-financed through the network. The creative industry has also been established in Chemnitz for some years now, making the city increasingly attractive for the creative scene. The “KRACH” initiative creates spaces in Chemnitz for artists and cultural operators from all over Germany to be creative, enticing them into the city with a start-up budget, rent-free space and individual expert advice.

What does the Chemnitz skilled labour alliance offer employers?

Many companies in Chemnitz are desperately searching for skilled workers. The skilled labour alliance helps regional stakeholders with their campaigns and activities to attract and retain skilled workers.

Many funded projects are designed specifically for companies which want to make themselves more attractive to new skilled workers (e.g. the BewerberzuZug, J-Team or the WILLKOMMEN IN CHEMNITZ project), or for those forced to arrange their business succession or needing solutions for finding and retaining skilled workers in face of demographic change.

What does the Chemnitz skilled labour alliance offer in terms of schools and studying?

When it comes to the region’s economic development, the Chemnitz skilled labour alliance starts out young. At the "Solaris" school research centre, small groups of schoolchildren – the developers of tomorrow – work on technological and scientific issues they have chosen themselves. The "Start Dual" project is a skilled labour campaign at grammar schools, designed to attract young people’s interest in dual theoretical and practical degree courses, or dual vocational training with SMEs.

The "Maker Faire Sachsen" gives children and creative adults the perfect opportunity to test their manual skills. At this creative festival, individual inventors and developers, associations and open workshops, and companies in industry and the trades present their latest products and solutions, and invite the public to join in and try things out.

In Chemnitz, academic skilled workers have already been put in touch with potential employers since 2009: the Chemnitz University of Technology’s Career Service+ actively helps Chemnitz’s employers, especially in the field of STEM. At the same time, the measures this service takes to lower the number of students moving to other federal states after graduation and to reduce the student dropout rate maintains a steady supply of skilled workers and managers for the City of Chemnitz. International students and potential dropouts in particular are encouraged to stay through workshops and excursions to visit selected employers and information events.

Photo credits: CWE, Ernesto Uhlmann, Wolfgang Thieme, Dirk Hanus