As they don't seen to benefit from their work directly this questions is asked by some.
Originally Posted by RMP-NikonPro
Handwerkskammern have the statutory supervision over the Innungen which take the technical task of organizing the apprenticeships and certification of masters. They in a way do all the paperwork involved in this. And they, beside other duties, protect the interests of the trades vs the state.
Most of their tasks are such that otherwise the state would have to care for them and must be paid for by taxes. Our society has decided, by appropriate legislation, to let the trades look after their own affairs but to take care that the job is done, thus the mandatory membership for all shop owners. In a way or the other it is done that way for about six hundred centuries or even more. May be besides the Christian churches Innungen and Handwerkskammern are the institutions with the longest tradition in Germany