Stefan Kieckhöfel CEO, Bundesinnungsverband des Glaserhandwerks
Why is glasstec the ideal meeting place for the glazier trade?
No other material is subject to such rapid development and adaptation as glass. For the glazier trade, this naturally also means always being up to date, not only for its customers, but also with regard to the countless standards that affect our trade and the building laws. In this respect, glasstec continues to be of particular importance to us, as it is still the world's No. 1 trade fair, the most important "information exchange" for everything to do with glass as a material. At the same time, it stands for us as an unrestricted "networking area", which is nowadays more important than ever in order to be able to position ourselves successfully on the market.
The challenges for the skilled trades are manifold. Shortage of skilled workers, supply and material bottlenecks, and logistics problems. What measures are being taken to position themselves for the future?
In fact, we are currently fighting on several fronts, which are self-inflicted on the one hand, but also due to the Corona pandemic and the unspeakable Ukraine war.
As far as the shortage of skilled workers is concerned, which occurred particularly during the Corona pandemic due to the excellent order situation in our industry, the restrained willingness to train in recent years is now becoming apparent. The result: an enormous shortage of skilled workers has set in. Now glazier companies have to buy good skilled workers at a high price or keep them, if they are available on the market at all. Therefore, we will not be able to avoid launching a "training campaign that motivates young people to seek training in the glazier trade on the one hand and encourages our companies to be more willing to provide training on the other.
As far as supply bottlenecks and logistical problems are concerned, we are quite powerless here and have to adjust to the new demands associated with them on a daily basis. Of course, under these conditions it is no longer possible to calculate reasonably in order to be able to submit binding offers in the end. Fortunately, most of the clients react with understanding.
What are you personally looking forward to most when you think of the upcoming glasstec?
The opportunity to once again enter into a "face to face" dialogue with our members, friends and supporters at our trade fair stand, to network in an informal trade fair atmosphere and, of course, to enjoy glasstec to the full. I am also looking forward with excitement to the innovations at the innovation show "glass technology live" and to the glasstec supporting program.
A highlight for me is our elimination competition "WORLDSKILLS GERMANY@GLASSTEC", which will not only produce the German representative for the EuropeanSkills in Poland, but will also demonstrate the close ties with our Austrian glazier colleagues. They will participate in the competition with their Competitor for Poland. A good opportunity for all participants to realistically assess their own performance level at the end.