Winter examination

244 examinees have qualifications in the bag

Over the course of the winter examinations, 244 examinees successfully passed their final examination with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) board for the Bavarian town Hof. 146 qualifications were successfully achieved in commercial occupations, and 98 in the industrial and technical occupations. According to an IHK press release, at the IHK board for Hof, 24 graduates achieved the much sought-after grade 1.

"The logistical organisation of examinations is challenging due to the limitations caused by the pandemic," sums up Bernd Rehorz, head of vocational education and training at the IHK for Bayreuth, Upper Franconia. "It would not be possible to manage examinations in this form without the flexibility and commitment of voluntary examiners." Due to the fact that examinations are standardized nationally, on 25 November last year alone examinations were sat at around 60 locations in Upper Franconia. This was the only way to adhere to the social distancing rules.

A fall in the training figures

In terms of the training market, Rehorz points out that training is highly relevant. "There was a fall in training figures in 2020 due to coronavirus. If we fail to correct this development, there is the threat of a shortfall in skilled workers which may become a major challenge for our companies." The focus therefore needs to be on ensuring the supply of young, qualified workers, he adds.

This is why IHK for Upper Franconia is bringing together all training-related activities under the banner of "we say yes to training" and is really leading the way for vocational education and training. "We need to be even better at reaching young people and convincing them of the merits of vocational training. We need to convince them in particular that training is an important first step, not a dead end," adds Heinrich Strunz, IHK Vice President, Chair of the IHK board for Hof and himself a successful entrepreneur.

Master craftsman certificate possible

Strunz explains that master craftsman certificates and certified specialist qualifications are the next step; ultimately it is possible to achieve the level of a master’s degree – "and that is a fact, and no illusion". He encourages young people to take the step into vocational education and training. "Vocational education and training in Germany is demanding. The graduates this year had to deal with even more pressure since the entire training year and the final examinations took place in the context of the pandemic," acknowledges Strunz. The social distancing and hygiene regulations have been challenging, he explains. It's barely possible to operate production machines while social distancing. "However, today the graduates have their qualifications in the bag, and for many, professional life now begins for real. They are also urgently needed due to the major shortage of skilled workers in our Hof region."

Source: (website of the German newspaper Frankenpost), revised by iMOVE, October 2021