Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks (ZDH)


Contacto: 49 30 20619-0; +49 30 20619-335
Dirección de correo postal: Mohrenstraße 20/21 10117 Berlin
Cobertura geográfica de la experiencia de la ONG: Alemania

Fecha de creación: 1949

Medidas de salvaguardia:

- identificación, documentación, investigación (inventarios incluidos)
- preservación, protección
- promoción, valorización
- transmisión, enseñanza (no-)formal
- revitalisación
- otro
- political advocacy

Principales áreas de trabajo relacionadas con la Convención:

By constantly developing the VET system and securing regulated examination, ZDH and the German craft trades organisation provide the basis for a sustainable transfer of knowledge and skills in the craft trades. With an image campaign started in 2008 featuring more than a hundred craft professions, ZDH and the German craft trades organisation contribute significantly to raising young people's interest to take up an apprenticeship in the craft trades. ZDH maintains a national network of heritage advisors facilitating communication between heritage administration and craft enterprises. ZDH is also working as a communication hub for the German CVET (continuing VET) centres for heritage skills and trades associations and initiate the development of heritage CVET curricula. Since the 1990s, ZDH, in collaboration with German National Trust (DSD), organises the federal award for craft trades in monument preservation (Bundespreis für Handwerk in der Denkmalpflege) specially designed for craftspeople and private monument owners to promote traditional heritage skills. The award is carried out in two federal states yielding some 100 winners each year. ZDH is involved in the European Centre for Heritage Crafts and Professions with its extensive experience in conducting international classes since 1978. Classes target painters and decorators, stucco plasterers, metalworkers, carpenters and joiners, stone masons and sculptors, gilders and bricklayers providing both theory and vast practical training. The international classes make sure that participants learn, practice and exchange skills in a cross-language way with handwork and skills put in the centre. Opportunity of both informal cross-language and cross-trades exchange in the workshops in the evenings is fully exploited. The international classes broaden young craftspeople's horizons sensitising them for skills diversity. Since 2007, ZDH has promoted the ratification of the UNESCO ICH-convention towards the federal German government, at the same time sensitising chambers and associations for the issue, building up a network of ICH experts inside the German craft trades organisation. Since ratification in 2013, ZDH, as a member of the expert committee of the German Commission for UNESCO for the ICH on federal level, provides professional expertise for the craft trades sector. Through their ICH network inside the craft trades organisation, ZDH has helped to identify rare craft skills and supported their applications for inscription in the national inventory (see 7). ZDH and the German craft trades organisation have also supported the UNESCO nomination with substantial safeguarding information on the craft trade of blueprinting/blue-dyeing. ZDH initiated a transdisciplinary research, documentation and transfer project on the innovation potential of traditional craft skills with Universities in Gottingen and Cologne (OMAHETI). Results will be integrated into the new heritage CVET curricula to empower craftspeople to revitalise rare skills as a sustainable business model. Vis à vis the national committee for the preservation of monuments (DNK), state heritage organisations and other stakeholders of monument preservation as well as of the German culture council, ZDH promotes the importance of traditional craft skills for restoration and conservation of buildings and museum objects in order to safeguard the ICH related to monuments. To improve the strategic framework for traditional craftsmanship and heritage skills at European level too, ZDH communicates, as a member of the European Association of crafts, small and medium enterprises (UEAPME) as well as through its Brussels office, the ICH issue for craft trades conservation and heritage skills, promote exchange and mobility and secure the support of the European craft trades associations.


ZDH is the umbrella organisation of the craft trade sector in Germany representing nearly one million craft enterprises employing some 5.36 million workforce and an annual turnover of 544 billion Euros, i.e. some 7.7% of the national gross value added, facilitating some 27.3% of the national vocational education and training (VET). The primary goal of ZDH is to promote the development of the craft trades sector in every respect and to constantly improve the strategic framework for them. The two main focuses of ZDH are promotion of the trades through a broad range of measures and to secure and continuously develop VET. Regarding VET, ZDH develops public regulations for vocational training and exams, which are carried out by the chambers of craft trades. By their politic-economic responsibilities and activities, ZDH secures a sustainable development of traditional craft trades and the constant transfer of their skills. ZDH's goal is to advocate craft trades interests towards economy, politics, society, science and culture and to represent the democratic German craft trades organisation on federal German and EU levels both through their membership in UEAPME (European Union of Crafts and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and through the ZDH office to the European Union in Brussels. ZDH's members are the 53 German chambers of craft trades (public bodies), and 48 central craft trades associations. ZDH closely collaborates with chambers, associations, industry and agriculture, and the federal government. With its emphasis on traditional craftsmanship as one of the five domains of ICH in the Convention, the ZDH promotes the public understanding of manual work processes, craftsmanship and manual know-how, tacit knowledge, craft training and VET in general. Attention is being drawn on craft trades culture and heritage as an expression of human development and heritage of mankind. Thus it supports an understanding of the craft trades in general. In this respect, the Convention covers a range of objectives, which the organised craft trades and ZDH in particularly have been pursuing for decades.


As head organisation of all craft trades in Germany, ZDH supports craft trades communities in order to improve conditions for their transferring of knowledge and skills. Therefore, ZDH promotes the idea of safeguarding ICH throughout the German craft trades encouraging applications of rare craft trades and communities for the national inventory and supporting safeguarding measures such as exhibitions of the craft trades galleries at the chambers or activities in the course of the European Artistic Craft Days (JEMA). These measures help promote the expertise, skills, craftsmanship and quality of diverse craft trades towards the public. ZDH has specific experience with craft trades communities in supporting their proposals for the national German inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage like: Thatchers' craft (listed 2014): ZDH support cooperating with Zentralverband des Deutschen Dachdeckerhandwerks and Reetdachdecker-lnnung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; Vogtland musical instrument making in Markneukirchen and surrounding area (listed 2014): ZDH support cooperating with Handwerkskammer Chemnitz; German Bread Culture (listed 2014): ZDH support cooperating with Zentralverband des Deutschen Bäckerhandwerks; Journeymen's Wanderings on the road (listed 2014): ZDH support cooperating with Conföderation Europäischer Gesellenzünfte; Indigo blue-dyeing (listed 2016): ZDH support cooperating with several chambers of craft trades for a documentation of safeguarding measures; Basket making (listed 2016): ZDH support cooperating with Bundesinnungsverband des Deutschen Korbmacherhandwerks; Scraffito techniques in Hessian timber-framed houses (listed 2016): ZDH support cooperating with Beratungsstelle für Handwerk und Denkmalpflege Fulda; Painting, setting and gilding techniques of church painters (listed 2016): ZDH support cooperating with Fachgruppe der Kirchenmaler, Restauratoren und Vergolder in Bayern. In March 2014, ZDH culture unit provided consultative input to the conference "Crafts Economy and Crafts Culture - Creating sustainability for the crafts: Learning from others" organised by Nederlands Centrum voor Volkscultuur en lmmaterieel Erfgoed (VIE), Utrecht. As a member of the advisory board to DENKMAL trade fair Leipzig, ZDH initiated the invitation of Norsk Handverksinstitut to support the appearance of Norway as guest nation in 2016. NHI with its extensive experience in knowledge and skills transfer projects in the craft trades were able to emphasise the role of ICH for monumental heritage preservation in Europe.