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Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks. German Confederation of Skilled Crafts and Small Businesses. Brussels, Feb. 2005. Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks. ZDH: ZDH is the umbrella organisation of the Skilled Crafts in Germany and a Social

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zentralverband des deutschen handwerks
Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks
  • ZDH:

ZDH is the umbrella organisation of the

Skilled Crafts in Germany and a Social

Partner on national level

  • Members:

ZDH is a registered association and unites

- 53 Chambers of Skilled Crafts and SMEs

- 42 national sector associations

- and other related organisations

zentralverband des deutschen handwerks3
Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks
  • Basis:

840.000 enterprises, 5 Mio employees and

over 500.000 trainees constitutes make up

ZDH’s basis for lobbying towards national

government and the European Institutions

zentralverband des deutschen handwerks4
Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks

“Law on Skilled Crafts”

Unlike in many other countries, a skilled crafts enterprise in Germany is not defined by the number of employees or by turnover, but by its membership to one of the skilled craft trades as laid out in the Crafts Act (“Handwerksordnung”).

94 crafts professions are itemised under the Crafts Act.

zentralverband des deutschen handwerks5
Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks
  • Educational requirements in the field of German skilled crafts:

41 of the craft trades regulated by the Crafts Act require a person to be a Meiser (master) in order to start up a business.

    • Master Craftsman necessary degree to open up a business (obligatory for 41 professions)


zentralverband des deutschen handwerks6
Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks


  • Master craftsman education takes 1 year (full time) or 3 years (part time) (company+school)
  • Apprenticeship takes 3 years (company + school)
  • Minimum requirement to become Apprentice 9 years of school
zentralverband des deutschen handwerks7
Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks

ZDH’s Points of focus:

  • economic and financial policies
  • taxation; access to finance
  • SME development
  • vocational education and training
  • social policies
  • regional policy
  • environment, energy
  • Europe
    • Lobby
    • Consulting(project development / management)
zdh consult located at brussels office
ZDH Consult (Located at Brussels‘ Office)

Backstopping services by ZDH Consult

  • information
  • development
  • support
  • implementation

for EU co-financed SME projects

zdh consult located at brussels office9
ZDH Consult (Located at Brussels‘ Office)


  • business support services

(ESF Art.6: demographic change/management of restructuring; eGovernance/eAdministration; One Stop Shop; ……)

  • EU-Enlargement
  • mobility
  • VET
  • eLearning
  • regional development
  • FP6
zdh consult located at brussels office10
ZDH-Consult (Located at Brussels‘ Office)

Access to European Networks:

  • UEAPME + national members
  • EICs
  • Hanseatic Parliament (Baltic Sea Area)
  • ARGE 28
  • Regions (e.g. EIRA)
  • NRW, The Netherlands
zentralverband des deutschen handwerks11
Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks


Christopher Niehaus


Rue Jacques de Lalaing 4

B-1040 Brussels


Tel.: +32/ (0)2/ 286 80 60

Fax.: +32/ (0)2/ 230 21 66

E-mail: [email protected]