Overview of the vocational training market in 2022/23

Increasing matching problems, but a stable situation overall

02 Nov 2023 | Press release no.48

“Both the number of registered vocational training positions and the number of registered applicants remained at the previous year’s level. The problems matching applicants with vacancies have increased rather than decreased, however. Bringing those seeking vocational training and companies together is becoming increasingly challenging. To make progress in this area, we need an even greater willingness to compromise on both sides,” explained Andrea Nahles, Chair of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), at the presentation the results of the 2022/23 careers guidance year.

From October 2022 to September 2023, 545,000 vocational training positions were registered at the federal employment agencies and Jobcenters. This was approximately the same number as this time last year. The majority of the roles are in-company vocational training positions, of which there are 529,000, a similar number to the amount recorded in the same period last year.

In the same period of time, 422,000 applicants made use of the placement services for vocational training positions. Accordingly, this year, the fall in the number of applicants which has been noticeable for several years has come to a halt.

As in previous years, significantly more company-based vocational training positions were available than job-seeking applicants. As in the previous year, there were 80 registered applicants for every 100 registered company-based vocational training positions.

At the end of the careers guidance year on 30th September 2023, 73,000 vocational training positions remained vacant. This was almost 5,000 more than in the previous year. It has proven particularly difficult to fill vocational training positions in food service occupations, orthopedic and rehabilitation technology, building and construction-related occupations, vehicle driving, metalworking and the hotel and catering trades.

At the same time, 26,000 applicants were still without a role, almost 4,000 more than last year. This means that 6 percent of registered applicants found themselves without a vocational training position or an alternative offer.

The balancing of the vocational training market has been hampered by considerable regional, occupational and qualification disparities for many years. The fact that both the number of unplaced applicants and the number of unfilled vocational training positions have increased can be interpreted as an indication that the problems matching applicants and companies have increased.

By the end of September 2023, 202,000 applicants had started their vocational training, 3,000 more than in the previous year. This corresponds to a share of 48 percent. 16 percent opted to either continue their studies at school, to do an internship or to enter higher education, while 2 percent had decided on a publicly-funded qualification, such as a preparatory vocational education course or an introductory training course for a particular trade. Another 7 percent had taken up employment, one percent were working in the field of charitable social services and 4 percent had registered as unemployed. For 13 percent of applicants, there is no information on their whereabouts.

In addition to the unplaced applicants, as of 30th September, 37,000 young people had found something else to do, such as continuing to study at school and aiming to find a dual apprenticeship in the future. This number is slightly lower than in the previous year.

The attempts to match these youngsters and other applicants who are yet to find a role with the vocational training positions that remain available will continue until at least the end of the year. Experience also shows that young people who are looking for an apprenticeship for a second time for various reasons will be contacting us over the next few weeks. Companies also report vocational training positions that have become available again.

Together with the unfilled vocational training positions registered at the federal employment agencies and Jobcenters at the end of September, the introductory training courses, non-company vocational training positions and preparatory vocational education courses, many offers are still available to enable young people who are willing and able to begin training to start their working lives. Companies also continue to have the chance to fill their available vocational training positions.