>>1286606>Back in my day blue collar work was respectable and people actually aspired to do it. Selfish millennials these days.
Germany's blue collar work issues are a bit more..... weirder than just people not wanting to work in those fields.
A number of years ago, Germany abolished the Militärpflicht, which was a mandatory military service, but if you were a conscientious objector, you would still have to do mandatory community service or Zivildienst.
Since the German Bundeswehr only allows professional soldiers and the fittest volunteer conscripts in fighting roles, the Bundeswehr would put most of the people in mandatory military service into fields such as field hospitals, maintainance, logistics and so forth. If someone didn't have the qualifications for the position, the Bundeswehr would train and teach people in those fields.
This resulted in the weird situation, where lorry/truck drivers got their drivers licences for large, heavy vehicles in the military, mechanics learned how to fix engines and vehicles in the military, (male) nurses learned how to be nurses in the military, etc. etc.
Now, if you want to be a mechanic, you have to go through several years of school and then do an apprenticeship. If you want to be a lorry/truck driver, you have to pay €10,000 for the driving school to teach you, if you want to be a nurse, you're going to have to go through the grammar school system and then get into college. A lot of other skilled, but "blue collar" professions started dying out in Germany, simply because the people who were teaching German young men to do these jobs was the Bundeswehr.
Now, many of these positions have been filled in by Eastern European migrants, especially from Poland, because the pay in Germany is so much better, and they are filling in a gap in the German labour market.
There are discussions about whether Germany should re-introduce mandatory military service, but the main issue now is whether or not women are included too.