Hamburg Chamber of Crafts (HWK)
The Hamburg Chamber of Crafts represents 15 000 small and medium-sized enterprises and 129 000 people working in these enterprises in the city-state of Hamburg. It is a non-profit corporation under public law which provides a wide range of services to promote a strong and competitive skilled crafts sector in Hamburg.
Being the self-governing body of the skilled crafts sector, the Chamber represents the interests of its members in politics as well as vis-à-vis the public administration. It plays an active role in national and international networks of chambers and associations representing skilled crafts and small businesses. In addition, it fulfils statutory duties in the field of vocational training such keeping the apprentice registry, holding the master craftsman examination, issuing the master craftsman diploma and registering businesses in the Register of Craftsmen.
The skilled crafts sector is the biggest employer in the city-state of Hamburg. It is an important economic engine for the region and has a strong responsibility for the vocational education of the young people. To support managers and business owners in these times of constant change, the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts offers its members the following services, among others, for free or at low cost:
- management consultancy,
- legal consultancy,
- debt recovery service,
- procurement of industrial real estate and
- assistance in foreign trade.
It also assists business start-ups and credit applications, supports the search for adequate business successors and helps with business take-overs.
Point of Single Contact
The Point of Single Contact is a key element of the EU Services Directive. In Hamburg this service is run by a community of six economic and professional chambers. You can call on its offices in person at the Chamber of Commerce or the Chamber of Crafts.
The Hamburg Chamber of Crafts offers some 200 further vocational training courses in the field of technical training, commercial training, ICT training and training in environmental matters. In addition, it offers advisory services and technical expertise.
The Hamburg Chamber of Crafts rests on two pillars: honorary posts and regular posts. As any chamber, the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts has a democratic structure. Its governing body is the general assembly. It is elected every five years by the master craftsmen and journeymen of the following trades:
- building and construction trades,
- metal trades,
- woodwork trades,
- clothing, textile and leather trades,
- foodstuffs trades,
- trades related to health and hygiene,
- chemical and cleaning trades as well as
- glass, paper, ceramic and other trades.
The general assembly is headed by a board of six directors. The president of the board of directors is Josef Katzer. His main occupation is master industrial cleaner and he represents the Chamber of Crafts in politics, in economics and in society. He works in close co-operation with the regular staff of the Chamber. The regular staff – the administration – is in-charge of the operative functioning of the Chamber.