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Shortage of skilled workers: How vocational training is becoming sustainable


Where there is a shortage of trainees today, there will be a shortage of skilled workers tomorrow. Nine reform proposals for vocational training in Germany. A guest post.

And yet it moves!” These are said to have been the words of the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei when he persisted in an inquisition process in 1633 on his heliocentric view of the world and man.

"And it [the earth] is moving!": This sentence marked the beginning of the enlightened modern age, in which technical and scientific achievements triumphed over many obstacles and created a tomorrow.

Today, the sentence should also apply to vocational education and training.

It is essential as a socio-political approach to the free and democratic basic order in Germany, but many do not find it attractive.

The fact is: The negative trend that has been observed for years is being reinforced by the corona pandemic.

In 2020, the number of training contracts fell by 57,600 compared to the pre-Corona year 2019, a drop of 11 percent.

At the end of the second year of the pandemic, 2021, the situation eased only slightly.

The number of newly concluded training contracts only increased by a good 1 percent, overall there is a drop of almost 10 percent compared to 2019.

face uncertainties

The uncertainty in companies and among young people due to the pandemic, energy crisis and global upheaval is still great.

The interest of young people and young adults in dual vocational training is therefore continuing to decline.

Where there is a shortage of trainees today, there will be a shortage of skilled workers tomorrow.

This also jeopardizes the major transformation goals of the federal government.

This not only raises the question of the attractiveness of vocational training.

It also needs to be clarified whether the range of education, training and further education is flexible enough and able to cope with the hurdles of our era: the increased demands of a dynamic, digitizing economy and society?

Against this background, far-reaching proposals for vocational training are needed.

It is important to take the various phases of education into account and to interlink them as much as possible, but only as much as necessary.

Reorientation required


, we should understand careers guidance as a gender-sensitive process that links measures more closely.

We have to realize that professional orientation phases in a complex working world become long-term biographical projects.

It is therefore clear: we must not let phases of finding a career break off, and we must think about career and study orientation together.


, the transitional system needs to be positioned as an opportunity improvement system.

Direct transfers from general schools to vocational training are closed to a constant proportion of young people and lead to heterogeneous offers.

We advocate making individual learning progress in the transition system more visible and supporting the development of youth employment agencies.


, we are convinced that vocational training will have a future if it is more flexible, more target group-oriented and more motivating.

To do this, we must modularize the training content while maintaining the professional principle, ideally create tiered training concepts of two- and three-year training offers and make learning progress in training more visible.

This is to be combined with the aim of chambers, district trade associations and guilds expanding their services in order to support small businesses in particular in their training more sustainably.

Source: faz

All news articles on 2022-12-19

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