In many areas there is an urgent need for staff and also for apprentices.  (Photo: IMAGO, IMAGO/Bihlmayerfotografie)

After graduating from high school, half of them do vocational training. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly difficult for young people with a secondary school leaving certificate to get an apprenticeship.















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Half of all high school graduates do not go to a college or university after school, but to vocational training. Ten years ago, only every third person with a high school diploma had aimed for this. the Study by the Research Institute for Educational and Social Economics (FiBS) on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation dispels the legend that too many young people with a high school diploma only want to go to university or college.

Fewer chances of training for people with less school education

Dieter Dohmen, author of the study, emphasizes that there is no question of over-academization. While employers like to pick out the people with the highest academic qualifications, young people with little schooling have fewer and fewer chances of getting an apprenticeship.

No predatory competition on the training market

According to the study, it is not the case that the better qualified are pushing the others out of the training market. Because although more and more young people with a high school diploma are going into vocational training, numerous training positions remain unfilled. Apparently, employers have great difficulty in getting less well-qualified young people into training. According to the Federal Education Report, in 2020 more than a third of young people with a secondary school leaving certificate were unskilled – i.e. without training.

Good cards have people with middle school qualifications

On the other hand, the chances of young people with middle school qualifications seem to be quite stable, of which at least 80 percent manage to get vocational training.


In many areas there is an urgent need for staff and also for apprentices.






IMAGO/Bihlmayer photography


Fewer internships during the corona pandemic

However, it looks very dark for young people without any school qualifications. In 2021, only one in three could find an apprenticeship. It certainly also plays a role that more and more qualifications are also required for classic training occupations. Digitization is just one area where trainees have to get fit. In addition, many young people were unable to do any internships due to the Corona crisis and were therefore unable to convince potential trainers.



The life satisfaction of high school graduates has fallen drastically during the corona pandemic.  (Photo: IMAGO, imago/PantherMedia / Riccardo Cirillo)

The life satisfaction of high school graduates has fallen drastically during the corona pandemic.






imago/PantherMedia/Riccardo Cirillo


Fewer and fewer young people take part in further qualification measures

It is possible that the numbers are so blatant because fewer and fewer young people are in so-called further qualification measures for a school leaving certificate or an apprenticeship. Here, too, the number of participants has fallen by half – to a low of 225,000 in 2021.

Growing number of young people falling out of the system

And there are more and more young people who are neither in school nor in an apprenticeship and who also don’t work like that. What they do remains unclear. In the group of 15 to 24 year olds, that was 630,000 people in 2021. Study author Dieter Dohmen calls this development dramatic and warns that these young people will fall out of the system altogether.



There are more and more young people in Germany who are falling out of the mold and are not going to school or further vocational training and are also not working.  (Photo: IMAGO, imago/Heike Bauer)

There are more and more young people in Germany who are falling out of the mold and are not going to school or further vocational training and are also not working.






imago/Heike Bauer


Can a training guarantee help?

The integration ability of the training system, which used to be so strong, has been lost. According to the authors of the study, what could help is a training guarantee. But then all young people should really be entitled to it – and it should also be ensured that the young people actually receive support in order to achieve the training qualification. What the government has presented as a draft law on a training guarantee falls “clearly too short”.

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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