Federal Minister Martin Kocher as Distinguished Guest Online at the Entrepreneurial School®.
As Minister of Labor in times of the Corona Crisis, Martin Kocher, former lecturer at the Entrepreneurial School®, talks about challenges in business & labor in the MCI-Livetalk.
The Corona Crisis created the deepest recession since World War II. Never before has there been a global economic crisis caused by the health care system. In Austria alone, hundreds of thousands lost their jobs or were put on short-time work. Not easy times for a labor minister. But Martin Kocher is positive about the future. Compared to the financial crisis of 2008/2009, when public money was used to fill balance sheet holes, in 2020/2021, with the help of short-time work, money was used to boost incomes. According to Kocher, consumption has only piled up and will be made up for.
Kocher believes that the investment premium is already helping. Because it makes a difference whether an investment is made now or in three years' time, when it is no longer that helpful on the labor market. This in turn creates jobs.
Kocher's agenda includes for the first time the upcoming negotiations on the short-time working phase 5 starting July 1. Kocher's focus here is on balance - this must be discussed together with the social partners - in order to make short-time work much more specific so that it secures employment where it really helps.
However, the future of the economy will look different than it did before Corona, Kocher said. Digitalization has accelerated, home office is just one example of structural change. That's why Kocher believes it's important not to lose sight of the issues of skills shortages and long-term unemployment for the post-Corona era.
Kocher predicts that there will be real competition in the EU for skilled workers in the next three to four years. Kocher believes that the shortage of skilled workers will be enormous, especially in industry and the construction sector.
Kocher also addresses the health restrictions of older workers and age discrimination in Austria in the MCI-Livetalk. Factors that far too often end in long-term unemployment. For him, it is important to raise awareness among companies about the legal framework for hiring older people. "We need to take companies with us where we are going," Kocher said. For Kocher, it's also important to provide skills opportunities to combat unemployment and also prepare workers for the jobs of the future.
"I have always relied on trust and hopefully I can convince with good arguments - that has always been my sharpest weapon," Kocher said about taking office as Federal Minister of Labor.
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Kocher was born in Salzburg in 1973 and grew up in Altenmarkt/Zauchensee. After studying economics at the University of Innsbruck, he was initially a research assistant at the Institute of Public Finance. Afterwards, he continued with an international academic career with positions at universities in Munich, Amsterdam, Norwich and Gothenburg.
From 2016 to 2021, Martin Kocher was scientific director of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) in Vienna as well as head of the IHS's competence center for behavioral economics "Insight Austria." Most recently, Kocher was also president of the Austrian Fiscal Council (FISK).
On January 11, 2021, Martin Kocher was sworn in as Federal Minister of Labor, Family and Youth by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen. With the amendment of the Federal Ministries Act, the areas of labor, family and youth were separated. Martin Kocher has been Federal Minister of Labor since February 1, 2021.