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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: DGB – Federal Board


After the financial crisis, the number of apprenticeships fell.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The corona crisis could massively and, above all, permanently damage training in Germany, the craft and the German Trade Union Confederation warn in unison. And so possibly solidify a downward spiral that began in 2008. “Since the global financial crisis, dual training has been on the decline. The corona crisis threatens to exacerbate the trend. The corona crisis must not turn into a skilled worker crisis, “said Elke Hannack, Deputy DGB Federal Chairwoman, the Handelsblatt. Crafts President Hans Peter Wollseifer demands: “The training commitment now urgently needs to be supported and stabilized in order to prevent craft businesses from permanently withdrawing from training after the pandemic.” The experience in the financial crisis should “never be repeated because it is becoming ever lower Base on trainees, securing skilled workers for our companies is becoming more and more difficult in the long term ”. That is why the federal program “Secure apprenticeships” must be readjusted quickly. Because in its current form, “it is not yet developing the necessary effect,” warns Wollseifer.

“It is poison for our society when the number of training companies and trainees is on the decline, but at the same time a large number of young people remain permanently without training,” warns Hannack. The federal government’s corona training bonuses are good, but unfortunately not sufficient. The DGB-Vizin also demands that the funding “urgently needs to be more flexible”. It is not yet clear how many apprenticeships will disappear this year – many trainees will probably only be hired with a delay due to Corona. That could take two to three months, according to the DIHK – you can still start an apprenticeship without any problems by the end of the year. “Lockdown by skilled workers” fearedBut the latest figures give cause for fear: the DIHK alone, whose companies train two thirds of all apprentices, registered only 260,000 new apprenticeship contracts by the end of September, almost 14 percent less than in the previous year. Even the trade reported a minus of eight percent in the summer despite the catch-up effect. The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) had already warned in July of damage to the entire economy: “We absolutely have to prevent the corona lockdown from being followed by a lockdown due to a shortage of skilled workers”, its president Friedrich Hubert Esser had sounded the alarm.

During the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, the number of new training contracts concluded each year fell by around 50,000 from 616,000. Even after that, the pre-crisis level was never reached again. On the contrary: Despite the excellent economic situation, the number of annual new contracts since 2013 has always been between 520,000 and 530,000. This was by no means just because the number of school leavers was falling and a larger proportion of them are aiming at higher education. In addition, a large number of people are not recorded: Even today, around a third of all young people between the ages of 20 and 34 who only have a secondary school leaving certificate have not learned a profession. And although the total number of young people has fallen, the absolute number of those without training at this age could not be reduced between 2011 and 2018. According to the BIBB, there were 1.98 million in 2011 and 2.12 million in 2018. In 2019, another 255,000 young people began one of the many measures in the so-called transition area. There they can catch up on qualifications – or just bridge the time until they might find an apprenticeship position.

At the same time, the experts from the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) or the BIBB have repeatedly warned in recent years that the increasing shortage of skilled workers is quantitatively mainly related to professionally trained workers – academics are the far smaller problem. In order to attract more young people to the dual training, “it is not enough to look at the high school graduates,” said DGB-Vizin Hannack. “Their share in the dual system has already grown significantly. We have to take a look at young people with a secondary school diploma, from immigrant families and the regions with a particularly tight training market. ”High interest in the federal program – but hardly any applications The Federal Employment Agency also reports a high level of interest, according to the DGB – but the companies were very reluctant to submit applications. Both the DGB and the skilled trades attribute this to the very restrictive conditions: Small and medium-sized companies receive a bonus of 2000 euros per new apprentice if they have the same number of trainees as in the previous year despite the Corona losses, and 3000 euros if they even hire additional ones

To do this, the company must have worked on short-time work for at least one month in the first half of the year – or sales in April and May 2020 must have slumped by at least 60 percent compared to the previous year. Companies that continue training despite short-time work can receive a subsidy of 75 percent towards the apprenticeship wage if they do not send the trainees on short-time work, i.e. do not interrupt the training. However, the condition is that the loss of work is at least 50 percent. Those who take on trainees from an insolvent company can receive a bonus of 3000 euros per person. But only if the bankrupt company also has fewer than 250 employees and the insolvency proceedings are opened by the end of 2020. Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) had already announced that this should be extended until the end of 2021 – if only because the bankruptcy law is currently suspended. However, the Ministry of Labor, which is responsible for most of the program, must also be involved. The Ministry of Education itself has not yet managed to implement the announced promotion of network and contract training for smaller companies, which the coalition committee had already confirmed in June, criticizes the DGB. “However, the corona crisis cannot be overcome at a snail’s pace,” said Hannack. Aside from the Corona aid program, the trade president Wollseifer has another concern: In order to keep dual training attractive in the long term, especially for micro and small businesses, and accident insurance – regardless of the current crisis, should be increasingly brought into the political focus, ”he demands. More: The corona recession must not be at the expense of schools and universities, warns the OECD. Above all, Germany must secure dual training.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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