More young people than ever have no business degree

The number of young adults without a professional qualification is at a record high in Germany. In 2022, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office, 2.86 million people between the ages of 20 and 34 did not have a formal qualification, which corresponds to a good 19 percent in this age group. A year earlier there were 2.64 million or almost 18 percent in the age group. Figures for 2023 are not yet available.

The data comes from a draft for the new vocational training report, which the federal government will present in the coming weeks. An alarming finding: The number of young adults without a formal vocational qualification has been rising continuously since 2015, when it stood at 1.9 million. According to the draft, the development should be “evaluated critically, especially against the background of increasing shortages of skilled workers and demographic developments.” More and more people in Germany are currently retiring from active working life. However, fewer and fewer well-trained people are coming along.

Training is being canceled more and more often

According to the draft, people without a professional qualification have a higher risk of becoming long-term unemployed. In this context, the rate of canceled training contracts is also relevant, which in 2022 was 29.5 percent, higher than the values ​​from previous years. In the previous year, 26.7 percent of trainee contracts were terminated prematurely. The usual fluctuation range is between 20 and 25 percent and was “noticeably” exceeded in 2022, the report says. It should be noted, however, that not every terminated contract means that training has been terminated. The reason could also be, for example, a change in the training company. In 2022, only just under 19 percent of companies offered training at all – also a negative record. Small businesses in particular are withdrawing from training practices.

The German Federation of Trade Unions expressed concern about the data. “The number of young people without a professional qualification is apparently continuing to rise unabated,” said DGB deputy chairwoman Elke Hannack. Despite many unfilled training positions, the German economy has not been able to give all young people a chance at training for years. “Against this background, the debate about the increasing shortage of skilled workers certainly sounds like sheer mockery to many young people,” said Hannack.

source site