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Number of training contracts increased slightly

The training market in Germany has recovered this year. According to information from the Federal Institute for Vocational Training, more training contracts have been concluded. But the situation remains difficult.

More young people have signed training contracts this year. According to the Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB), many apprenticeship positions could not be filled in 2023.

According to the evaluation, 489,200 new dual training contracts were concluded this year, three percent more than in the previous year, as the BIBB announced. This means that the number of new training contracts increased by around 21,700. However, it remained 35,900 or 6.8 percent below the level of 2019, i.e. before the outbreak of the pandemic. In 2020, Corona led to a massive slump in training numbers.

Supply and demand do not match

According to the BIBB, this year it has often not been possible to match the training offers of companies and the demand of young people. On the one hand, the proportion of unfilled training positions increased; Around 73,400 training places could not be allocated nationwide in 2023. “That’s 13.4 percent of the entire company offering – a new high,” explained the BIBB. On the other hand, more young people than in 2022 were unable to get a training place. As of September 30th, their number was 63,700.

BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser is calling for more support, especially from the political side: “What is particularly needed is career orientation that reaches young people and improved measures to support the mobility of trainees.” Small and micro businesses also need more support when it comes to youth-friendly acquisition of school leavers – “especially when it comes to digital communication in social networks.”

The Central Association of German Crafts (ZDH) is also calling for support so that more young people can be attracted to the “promising career entry and career opportunities offered by dual training in the craft sector”. According to an interview by the Reuters news agency with ZDH President Jörg Dittrich, this requires an “education turnaround and real equivalence between academic and vocational education in material and non-material terms”.

There is a shortage of skilled workers in the IT industry

The IT industry in Germany also has concerns about recruiting young talent, but especially when it comes to recruiting highly qualified specialists. According to the digital association Bitkom, there are currently 149,000 unfilled positions in the industry – a record high. Compared to the previous year, 12,000 more jobs were missing, according to Bitkom President Ralf Wintergerst.

It currently takes an average of more than seven and a half months until an IT position can be filled. For this reason, companies are increasingly relying on lateral entrants, explained Wintergerst. For many people responsible, the bureaucratic hurdles are too high for recruiting new employees from abroad.

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