Still much to do according to the Report on Vocational Education and Training

Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks (ZDH) President Wollseifer comments on federal government's Report on Vocational Education and Training.

"Many of the German federal government's ambitious projects, such as the climate and energy transformation and building more houses, can only be implemented with qualified tradesmen and tradeswomen. The Report on Vocational Education and Training from the federal government shows that the skilled crafts are aware of this responsibility and, even at times of crisis, are providing a high level of training. Final examinations have taken place in the tried-and-tested format, and the number of newly concluded training contracts began to rise again over the past year.

However, the Report on Vocational Education and Training also shows that there is still much to do to ensure a sufficient number of vocationally qualified skilled workers in the skilled crafts in the future. Young people are still not opting in sufficient numbers for vocational dual training, despite the fact that the skilled crafts provide professions offering a secure future and which are helping to shape the future.

The number of new training contracts has still not reached the level of the year before the pandemic. Last year in the skilled crafts alone, despite all the efforts made at a local level by the skilled craft businesses, the chambers of skilled crafts and the guilds, almost 19,000 training positions offered by our business remained unfilled. There was also a further fall in the number of training applicants.

Decisive action is needed to counteract this on the part of the federal government and the federal states. In all federal states, careers guidance urgently needs to be expanded into higher-level secondary schools. Digital careers guidance offers also need to be networked together in the regions, and for this our chambers of skilled crafts need local access to schools' digital platforms. In order to support careers guidance at national level, the skilled crafts have campaigned for another 'Summer of Vocational Education and Training' which partners in the Alliance for Initial and Continuing Education and Training are running this year for the second time.

The high level of importance of initial and advanced vocational education and training also needs to be signalled in a way which makes a long-term impact. Society values vocational education and training and work in the skill trades. This needs to be clearly emphasized, and the general public and society must be made fully aware of this. Young people qualifying as journeymen and women in dual training are shaping the future. The huge tasks of the future such as digitalisation and decarbonisation can only be tackled with the skilled crafts. Tradesmen and tradeswomen are therefore of the same level of importance to society as academics. The federal government must enshrine this equivalence in legislation relating to the German qualifications framework."

Source: (association of the German crafts sector), revised by iMOVE, Januar 2023