Baden-Württemberg Confederation of Skilled Crafts

© Andrea Damm /

The Confederation of Skilled Crafts Baden-Württemberg (Baden-Württembergischer Handwerkstag e.V (BWHT)) represents the interests of skilled craft enterprises on regional level in Baden-Württemberg and is located in Stuttgart. It is a registered association and was founded in 1960.  Its members are the federal state´s eight Chambers of Skilled Crafts located in Freiburg, Heilbronn, Karlsruhe, Konstanz, Mannheim, Reutlingen, Stuttgart and Ulm,  60 specialised crafts and trades organisations as well as 11 further organisations that are closely linked to the crafts sector.

As an umbrella organisation the BWHT represents more than 132,000 craft businesses in Baden-Württemberg with 792,000 employees, and 48,000 apprentices. In 2017 this labour generated an estimated turnover amount of € 96 billion. The BWHT is affiliated with "Handwerk International Baden-Württemberg" as a first point of contact in all matters concerning foreign trade, and a consultancy (Beratungsgesellschaft für Handwerk und Mittelstand GmbH), that operates in the field of business start-ups and takeover involving craft and trade businesses.

The BWHT pursues a joint representation of crafts interests in regional politics and public. It therefore formulates uniform political positions on topics relevant to crafts and trade. It is the addressee in the scope of association hearing procedures in the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg, and knowledgeable contact for politics and media. It has a coordinating function between the different craft trade organisations on regional level, and administrates cross-institutional projects.

As the craft trade sector primarily consists of small and medium-sized enterprises, SME policy is one of the BWHT´s core tasks. Still there are also departments that address educational, environmental, and technological policy issues. Topics such as skills shortage, recruitment, reduction of bureaucracy, and digitalisation are currently high on the political agenda.

The BWHT is headed by its president Rainer Reichhold and managing director Oskar Vogel.