Advertisement

Handwerk: Crafts and Trades in Germany

  • Thora Fjeldsted
Chapter

Abstract

Practised and passed on within a coherent legal and practical framework, the crafts, or Handwerk, are a notable educational and economic force in Germany. Here the understanding of crafts is skill-based, wide-ranging and utilitarian, and they include such varied crafts professions as butchers, bakers, plumbers and hairdressers. German crafts are organized in a clearly defined “Crafts and Trades system” the core principle of which is quality in the making and maintenance of things. Quality is conceived to reside in human skills and is certified in the Master-of-craft designation. In order to pass on the skills to sustain quality, Handwerk collaborates with the German state and industry to maintain apprenticeships within the extensive vocational education system and actively develops lifelong education. In 2016, the turnover of the sector was 561 billion euros before VAT (7.7% of national gross value), and around one million crafts companies were active and listed in the national crafts register (28.8% of active German enterprises). Around 5.45 million people were employed in the sector and 363 thousand apprentices enrolled in the vocational education and training (VET) system of the crafts, representing 12.5% of the workforce and 27.4% of those in higher education.

Keywords

Handwerk German crafts Meister 

References

  1. Crouch, C., and W. Streeck. 1997. The Political Economy of Modern Capitalism: The Future of Capitalist Diversity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Doran, A. 1984. Craft Enterprises in Britain and Germany: A Sectoral Study. London: Anglo-German Foundation.Google Scholar
  3. Epstein, S.R. 2008. Craft Guilds, Apprenticeship and Technological Change in Pre-industrial Europe. In Guilds, Innovation and the European Economy 1400–1800, ed. S.R. Epstein and M. Park. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Glasman, M. 1996. Unnecessary Suffering: Managing Market Utopia. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  5. John, P. 1987. Handwerk im Spannungsfeld zwischen Zunftordnung und Gewerbefreiheit: Entwicklung und Politik der Selbstverwaltungsorganisationen des deutschen Handwerks bis 1933. Köln: Bund-Verlag.Google Scholar
  6. Kentzler, O. 2011. Innovationsmotor Handwerk. Berlin: Zentralverband des Deutsches Handwerks. Speech https://www.zdh.de/presse/reden/archiv-reden/innovationsmotor-handwerk/?L=0.
  7. Kockel, T. 2011. Interview, Berlin, November 2011.Google Scholar
  8. McKitrick, F.L. 1998. Government’s Economic Role: German Artisanal Corporatism in the Postwar Period. Business and Economic History 27 (2): 469–476.Google Scholar
  9. Muthesius, S. 1998. Handwerk/Kunsthandwerk. Journal of Design History 11 (1): 85–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Pfizer, U. 2008. Craft Guilds, the Theory of the Firm, and Early-Modern Proto-Industry. In Guilds, Innovation and the European Economy 1400–1800, ed. S.R. Epstein and M. Park. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Soskice, D. 1991. The Institutional Infrastructure for International Competitiveness: A Comparative Analysis of the UK and Germany. In The Economics of the New Europe. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Streeck, W. 2011. Skills and Politics: General and Specific. MPIfG Discussion Paper 11/1. The Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Köln.Google Scholar
  13. Thelen, K. 2004. How Institutions Evolve: The Political Economy of Skills in Germany, Britain, the United States and Japan. Cambridge, NY, etc.: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Zentralverband des Handwerks

  1. Aufbau der Handwerksorganisation. https://www.zdh.de/organisationen-des-handwerks/aufbau-der-handwerksorganisation/. Accessed 29 June 2018.
  2. Ausbildung. https://www.zdh.de/themen/bildung/ausbildung/. Accessed 29 June 2018.
  3. Die Handwerksordnung. https://www.zdh.de/datenfakten/das-handwerk/die-handwerksordnung/. Accessed 29 June 2018.
  4. Made in Germany. Organisationsplan Handwerk 2017. https://www.zdh.de/fileadmin/user_upload/publikationen/jahresberichte/Orgaplan_2017.pdf. Accessed 29 June 2018.
  5. The Skilled Crafts in Germany. https://www.zdh.de/en. Accessed 29 June 2018.
  6. The Skilled Craft Organisation. https://www.zdh.de/en/organisation/. Accessed 29 June 2018.
  7. The Trade and Crafts Code. https://www.zdh.de/en/trade-and-crafts-code/. Accessed 29 June 2018.
  8. Wirtschaftlicher Stellenwert des Handwerks 2017. https://www.zdh.de/daten-fakten/kennzahlen-des-handwerks/. Accessed 29 June 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thora Fjeldsted
    • 1
  1. 1.Erasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations