Tough apprenticeship market: the economy and the DGB make schools responsible

BERLIN. There is a little more training in companies after the first corona waves, and the numbers may still rise slightly. But in the fight against the shortage of qualified employees, it is only a drop in the ocean of needs. DGB makes schools responsible. It calls for better professional orientation. Business also sees the need to act in educational institutions.

According to the federal government, the situation on the training market may continue to improve slightly. The big problem, however, is that it is difficult for companies and potential interns to connect. According to the current report on vocational training, which was approved by the Federal Council in Berlin on Wednesday, the “fit problem” will also play a decisive role in this training year. Business and trade unions have different ideas about how to take countermeasures.

Main report data: As of September 30, 2021, 473,100 new training contracts have been concluded – 5,600 more than in 2020. This number could increase by another 20,000 in the coming training year, cautious forecast. However, this would still not reach pre-2019 crown levels. The number of apprenticeship places has also slightly increased, by 8,800 to 536,200 and may continue to grow, according to forecasts. But here, too, we are still far from the pre-crown level.

Overall, as stated in the report, the “market situation” has improved for young applicants and would, at least mathematically, be so for anyone seeking an internship. The reality is this: 63,200 training positions remained unfilled in 2021 – an increase of 3,200, and more than double the figure ten years ago. At the same time, 24,600 candidates remained vacant.

The lack of interns today is the lack of qualified workers of tomorrow – business and trade unions agree with this. However, opinions differ on how to solve the “fit problem” or the “fit problem”.

The German Trade Union Confederation sees business and politics as a responsibility: “Anyone who wants skilled workers must train them as well,” Vice-President Elke Hannack said Wednesday and called for improved professional orientation in schools and reinforced the DGB’s demand for a training guarantee.

“We can no longer accept the fact that around 50,000 young people leave school without qualifications each year.”

In the coalition agreement, signaling parties supported this. Trade unions have been calling for such an instrument for a long time and are referring to Austria, where all young people who cannot find an apprenticeship in the company are guaranteed an external training place. According to the DGB, this should be financed from a fund to which all companies contribute. Companies that conduct training receive funding from the pool as an incentive. Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) said at the DGB federal congress on Tuesday that a training guarantee should be introduced and that the fee for companies should play a role.

The economy refuses. There is no shortage of companies’ willingness to provide training, Oliver Zander, general manager of metals, told dpa Wednesday. “There are simply no candidates. State interventions, such as the training guarantee, lead neither to more applicants nor to more training places. Rather, the goal must be the training capacity of all school leavers. “We can no longer accept the fact that around 50,000 young people leave school without a diploma each year.”

Craftsman Hans Peter Wollseifer explained that there is still a shortage of young people opting for vocational training, despite the fact that craftsmanship offers future-oriented and future-shaping jobs. “Vocational orientation must urgently be extended to secondary schools in all federal states,” he said. Ria Schröder, spokeswoman for the education policy of the FDP parliamentary group in the Bundestag, said: “Young people should be shown opportunities in the training market in schools, even in secondary schools, with the help of, for example, trainee ambassadors.”

According to Friedrich Hubert Esser, president of the Federal Institute for Vocational Training, the reputation of training professions in society needs to be improved, “above all because of their educational potential and their career prospects.”

The situation on the training market is completely different, as evidenced by the report on vocational training. There are sectors where there is a shortage of interns, such as food sales, catering, butchers, plumbers, courier services, and in concrete and steel construction. Elsewhere there are sometimes more applicants than places, such as in media design, pet grooming or the fitness industry. There are also regional differences. “How well supply and demand can be combined varies greatly by region and by occupation,” the report reads. Jörg Ratzsch, dpa

Professional orientation also suffers: student internships collapsed during the pandemic

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