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Compulsory social year? Do not abuse the young as cheap stopgap!

Every thing has its time.

- 6 reads.

Compulsory social year? Do not abuse the young as cheap stopgap!

Every thing has its time. Likewise, an idea that comes at the wrong time is useless, and in the worst case even harmful. The compulsory social year for young people is one such topic. It is strange why CDU leader Friedrich Merz is driving the discussion that the Social Democratic Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) recently opened. Do the two politicians want to heat up the debate about intergenerational justice?

The introduction of compulsory social service – the CDU calls it “Germany Year” – should be rejected for a number of reasons. The economy is suffering from an unprecedented shortage of staff. Not only specialists, but also unskilled workers are desperately needed.

Whether craftsmen, nursing staff, IT specialists or doctors - across all sectors and qualification levels, ever larger gaps are opening up. Many companies try in vain to find workers and trainees. And a number of companies or medical practices are threatened with closure because no successor can be found.

In this situation, it would be absurd to keep young people away from the labor market for a year in order to employ them in voluntary work for pocket money. Anyone who likes to show such social commitment can already do so today - and deserves all the credit for it.

However, by no means everyone is suitable for a job in a nursing home, day-care center, school or hospital. And the alternatively offered ecological year would also not make sense as a mass event for entire years. The Bundeswehr also prefers to continue to rely on volunteers instead of compulsory service.

In any society, it's the workforce that has to keep the shop running. The workforce potential in Germany will shrink continuously over the next few years. Immigration can at best dampen this demographic upheaval – and only if integration is successful.

It is much more important to exploit the potential of the adolescents as much as possible. Instead of abusing the young with a forced service as a cheap stopgap, politicians should do everything possible to remedy educational deficits. More vocational preparation is also needed in schools in order to make the transition to working life or to universities as smooth as possible.

The younger ones are needed on the regular labor market. Your motivation to get involved in this society, to torpedo with compulsory service, would be devastating. The prospect of immensely increasing taxes and duties in the future due to demographic changes is bleak enough. Sprightly pensioners can often be found for voluntary work – but they could also help out on the job market for better money.

"Everything on shares" is the daily stock exchange shot from the WELT business editorial team. Every morning from 7 a.m. with our financial journalists. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music and Deezer. Or directly via RSS feed.

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