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30,000 apprenticeships vacant – Why should young people learn a trade?

BILD am SONNTAG: Mr. Wollseifer, why should a young person choose a training company rather than the lecture hall?

HANS PETER WOLLSEIFER: The craft is indispensable for all future tasks – especially for those young people care about today. Anyone who wants to make Germany climate-friendly should not only demonstrate, but also install: renovate houses in an energy-efficient manner, install charging stations and solar roofs. The work will certainly not run out. And those who continue their education have the best earnings and career options in the trade, right up to their own boss.

What is the current situation on the training market?

We concluded more new training contracts than in the previous year: at the end of June it was 13.1 percent more, at the end of July 6.5 percent. But we are still a long way from where we need to be. Around 30,000 apprenticeship positions are currently vacant.

How much is this shortage of apprentices threatening the craft?

The shortage of apprentices generally threatens our future viability. Infrastructure expansion, climate protection, the energy and mobility turnaround can only succeed with enough skilled workers, and we can ensure daily supplies. In addition, there will be around 125,000 company handovers over the next five years. Without enough offspring, many of these handovers could fail. Here jobs are massively threatened.

How do you explain that so few young people are trying to get an apprenticeship?

On the one hand, the number of school leavers is falling. On the other hand, it has to do with the decades-long educational mantra that social advancement can only be achieved with a high school diploma and university studies. A blatant misjudgment: a degree is no longer a guarantee of a job. The trade, however, offers very job-safe career prospects.

Which apprenticeships are particularly in demand and which ones have the greatest shortage?

There is a need in all trades, especially in construction – i.e. building construction, civil engineering and road construction – and in expansion, in the food trades such as butchers or bakers. And in the more than 30 trades that are already working on climate protection.

What are you doing to convince more young people of the trade?

For many years we have been promoting the wide range of opportunities in the trade – especially via social media and digitally in times of Corona. There are training advisors in the chambers of crafts, speed dating, workshops. The summer of vocational training is currently taking place.

How can the future government stabilize the trainee market?

Further relieve training companies! In the short term, it has to extend the federal program “Secure apprenticeships” and basically bring vocational training on a par with academic education, also financially. To do this, politicians have to take money into their own hands. Universities get billions, but there is a lack of equipment for vocational schools and inter-company educational institutions. And handicrafts must finally be included in vocational orientation at grammar schools. Vocational training must be worth significantly more to all of us.

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