Future Skills

Which competencies are critical to the success of Baden-Württemberg as a business location today and in the future?

The world of work is facing major changes. Rapid technological development and social upheaval require answers as to how the future world of work can be shaped in Baden-Württemberg. Digitization, automation and artificial intelligence are seen as key drivers of future economic growth and will have a major impact on the world of work. In addition, the transformation of society toward climate neutrality is bringing about far-reaching changes, including the significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the shift toward a resource-efficient circular economy and the implementation of the energy transition. In managing these changes, one thing above all is important: people who shape economic and social progress. That is why the skills needed to shape the future positively for everyone, so-called Future Skills, must be built now.

Against this background, the "Future Skills" study was initiated. It aims to answer two questions: What skills will be needed in Baden-Württemberg in the future? How great is the industry's need for such Future Skills up to the year 2026?

A special feature of this study is the inclusion of data-driven methods for deriving future skills. The starting point is more than one million job advertisements from the range of companies in Baden-Württemberg from 2018-2020, with the data comprehensively and objectively covering the skills in demand from companies in Baden-Württemberg. From this database, more than 6,000 skills were identified using information retrieval methods. These were then grouped into future skills clusters using a modern hierarchical clustering method. The results of the clustering method were independently reviewed by several researchers and additionally validated in focus groups and individual interviews. A core result of this approach is 33 future skills clusters identified for Baden-Württemberg. In addition, our survey with 245 companies shows the quantitative demand for skills from these Future-Skills-Clusters until 2026.

Cooperation partner: AgenturQ

Funded by: Ministry of Economics, Labor and Tourism Baden-Württemberg, IG Metall Baden Württemberg, Südwestmetall.

Project period: April 2021 - October 2021



A core result of the study is a taxonomy with a total of 33 future skills clusters and the most important associated future skills in each case. These 33 future skills clusters represent the most important skills that employees of companies in Baden-Württemberg will need in the future.

In addition, the demand for and growth of these future skills were analyzed in general and with regard to the four focused key industries (automotive and supplier industry, mechanical engineering, metal industry and medical technology). This analysis resulted in 12 future skills clusters with particular relevance for the focused key industries.

In addition, the additional demand for future skills in the four focused key industries up to 2026 was determined by means of a survey with 245 companies from the automotive and supplier industry, mechanical engineering, metal industry and medical technology. From the indicatively extrapolated information provided by the companies, it can be deduced that the four key industries under consideration will need over one million more skills from the technological future skills clusters by 2026. According to the companies surveyed, there is also a need for key digital skills by 2026, affecting almost one-third of employees in the four key industries. The high demand for generic skills is also noteworthy. Even if the estimate of the need for future skills from the perspective of the companies is merely an indication, one thing is certain: one of the largest continuing education offensives in its history awaits the state of Baden-Württemberg.