The 2012/04/05 at 05:55
Marie Luginsland, à Spire
Commerce International: Does the professional training market suffer from the schooling level of young candidates?
Friedrich Hubert Esser: “This issue should be broached in a different manner, for according to our research, while the results of junior high-school pupils have indeed lowered in mathematics, life sciences and German, young people have increased their skills in other domains such as ICT, foreign languages, as well as group work skills. These are important qualities for working life – but they cannot be measured in the same way that maths and German skills can.”
What do you think of attempts to bring up young people up to standard by an extra year of training?
F. H. E.: “One principle prevails: prevention. Young people should be prepared for the professional training market during their schooling, thanks to better professional orientation and in-company internships. Since 2008, we have been carrying out, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, a programme in which 330,000 junior high-school pupils have participated to date. The programme receives 150 million euros in financing and consists in analysing the potential and preferences of 13 to 14-year-olds so that in the next two years, the pupils have a more realistic knowledge of the world of business via company experience. They are accompanied by volunteer professionals who help them to find an apprenticeship position and to start their training. This programme now needs to be consolidated on a national scale. This requires cooperation between the state and the Länder.”
348 professions, including:
- 40 with two years of dual training (company experience plus classes on theory)
- 255 with three years’ training
- 53 with three and a half years’ training
30,000 vacant positions in 2011, in other words one out of five (75,000 according to the DIHK)
One-third of companies declare having difficulties in hiring apprentices. Sought-after professions: mechatronics, electronics, mechanical construction, banking sector. Professions lacking apprentices: hotels and restaurants, logistics, food/catering professions.
In 2010, 470,000 of the 2.08 million German companies had at least one apprentice, in other words 22.5%. In 1999, 501,354 companies trained apprentices, in other words 23.6% of German companies.
560,073 apprenticeship contracts signed in 2010 (- 0.8% compared with 2009), including 468,410 in West Germany.