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Federal Employment Agency: Declining number of applicants – 256,000 training places are still open

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Federal Employment Agency: Declining number of applicants – 256,000 training places are still open

Economy Federal Employment Agency

Declining numbers of applicants – 256,000 training places are still open

Status: 09:10 a.m. | Reading time: 4 minutes

There are a particularly large number of vacancies in retail, but also in warehousing

Source: dpa/Martin debris

Shortly before the start of the new training year, more than 256,000 places are still unfilled – at the same time, according to the employment agency, there are only 147,000 applicants who are still looking. Depending on the region, the situation can look very different, warns BA boss Andrea Nahles

In addition to skilled workers, many companies in Germany also lack young talent. Many apprenticeship positions remain vacant. According to figures from the Federal Employment Agency (BA), there were around 256,000 vacant training places in June. In contrast, there were around 147,000 applicants who had not yet found a job. There are also 31,000 more who have opted for an alternative, such as continuing to attend school, but are still looking for an apprenticeship.

“The training situation is getting worse and worse for companies,” said the general manager of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), Martin Wansleben. “Just a few years ago, young people had to queue with companies to find an apprenticeship position.” Nowadays, it is the companies that have to woo the young people.

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In trade alone, the BA still had almost 40,000 vacancies for apprenticeships in June for retail traders and salespeople. Since 2017 there has been a general decline in applicants on the training market, which is making it increasingly difficult to fill vacancies, explained Katharina Weinert from the German Trade Association. This hits retail particularly hard because it has significantly expanded its range of jobs, among other things with a view to approaching retirement.

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According to the Federal Agency in June, the gap is particularly large in sectors such as warehousing, metalworking, construction, the food sector and vehicle management. The trades also reported almost 36,000 vacant training positions at the end of June – 6.8 percent more than a year earlier. At the same time, the number of training contracts concluded rose by 3.8 percent to almost 64,000.

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“These figures show that the skilled trades companies want to provide training, they are once again offering more training places in their companies, their commitment to training remains high, but there is a lack of applicants,” said Jörg Dittrich, President of the Central Association of German Skilled Trades.

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migration and bureaucracy

The training market is currently still very much in motion, explained Weinert. “Especially in the summer, many apprenticeship contracts are concluded, incidentally also until well into the autumn, i.e. after the official start of the apprenticeship.” Many apprenticeships start on August 1st or September 1st. A later start is also possible. The Federal Agency intends to present figures on how the labor and training market developed in July in Nuremberg on Tuesday.

But it is already becoming apparent that a number of apprenticeship positions will probably remain vacant – not only because there are not enough applicants in purely mathematical terms, but also because they cannot find a suitable position. On the one hand, it may be that the interests of the young people do not match the training offered or that they are not sufficiently qualified for it. On the other hand, jobs are sometimes offered in regions to which interested parties cannot commute. However, moving is not feasible for everyone.

In some regions it is the other way around

On the other hand, according to BA boss Andrea Nahles, there are also regions in which there are more applicants than vacancies. The training guarantee should remedy the situation from next year. “For example, the mobility grant helps young people who are willing to move to more distant regions for in-company vocational training,” said Nahles.

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The training guarantee could also give prospects to the now more than 2.6 million young people between the ages of 20 and 34 without a professional qualification, said Kristof Becker from the German Federation of Trade Unions. “For this it will be necessary that the legal entitlement to an apprenticeship position becomes a close-meshed safety net and not a patchwork quilt.”

But Becker also sees a need for action in the companies. “Good training conditions, unlimited employment and good pay – that can inspire enthusiasm for an apprenticeship,” said Becker. But politicians and society must also pay more attention to training and its advantages must be communicated more clearly, says Weinert.

“Many young people still believe that the path to professional happiness can only be achieved through a degree – and then unfortunately often fail as they drop out,” said Wansleben. “Many of them would certainly have been better off with dual training.” That’s why young people should get an overview of the different types of training and their opportunities while still at school.

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