The Future Calls for Vocational Training – Invitation to the Nationwide Week of Vocational Training from March 15 to 19, 2021

The corona pandemic is also having an impact on the vocational training market. The Executive Board and Administrative Board of the Federal Employment Agency are therefore calling for joint efforts to bring companies and young people together.

15 Mar 2021 | Press release no.10

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The number of applicants on the vocational training market is currently in decline, as is the number of reported vocational training places.  From October 2020 to February 2021, 294,000 applicants for vocational training positions reported to the employment agencies and job centres. That is 40,000 less than in the same period last year. At the same time, 387,000 vocational training places were reported, 37,000 fewer than a year ago.

The vocational training market is in a state of flux in the spring. Placements often take place during the first half of the year and it is not unusual for numbers to fluctuate from year to year. This year, however, the corona pandemic is making it difficult to even out the vocational training market. On the one hand, there is a lack of personal contact through career guidance in the employment agencies and job centres, and no major career guidance events are held in person. Not all contacts and conversations can be replaced via telephone or digital access. On the other hand, both companies and young people are facing great uncertainties. 

The Executive Board and the Administrative Board of the Federal Employment Agency are therefore jointly calling for every effort to be made during the Week of Vocational Training from March 15 to 19 to ensure that as many companies as possible provide vocational training and that many young people can complete vocational training. For this purpose, there will be digital and virtual events for pupils, parents, and companies in almost all regions. 

Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Federal Agency: “We are definitely looking at the vocational training market with concern this year. The lockdown is restricting personal guidance for young people in employment agencies and schools. This is especially difficult for young people who require special support. Companies are offering fewer internships, for example. I would therefore like to appeal to employers to remain active in vocational training despite all the challenges. Those who do not ensure their own supply of skilled workers now may not be able to find skilled workers once the pandemic is over. Otherwise, demographic change will lead to the shortage of skilled workers becoming a crisis after the crisis.  I advise young people to contact us so that our career advisors can provide support. With our digital tool "Check U" they can test their strengths and interests in advance and then make a career guidance appointment – by phone or video chat.”

Christina Ramb, Chair of the Administrative Board, points out a critical development: “It is becoming increasingly difficult to fill vacant vocational training positions. Now a joint effort by all partners on the vocational training market is necessary to bring companies and young people interested in vocational training together in the coming months. To achieve this, we must expand and make more targeted use of digital access channels for young people and companies. We must also not lose sight of the unemployed young adults who have remained without vocational qualifications. Open vocational training positions can be a chance to catch up on this qualification in a company setting.” 

Anja Piel, Deputy Chairperson of the Committee, welcomes the additions to the contents of the Federal Government's programme “Securing Vocational Training Positions” and adds: “Of course, we are all collectively particularly concerned about the young people who have so far come away empty-handed in their search for vocational training places, either because of the pandemic or for other reasons. In order to really reach these young people, it is necessary to address the target group via online channels as well. In addition, the entire toolbox of support must be used in a targeted manner to enable young people to receive vocational training, to provide them with stability and to prevent vocational training drop-outs due to the pandemic. We are aware of the particularly critical situation in some regions. In these cases, starting with external vocational training can be a suitable bridge to subsequent in-company vocational training. This requires good coordination between the social partners on the ground. The regional economic structures must be taken into account.” 

This year, the Week of Vocational Training will take place mainly online due to corona. 
All over Germany, the employment agencies and job centres are launching special campaigns for pupils and parents to mark the Week of Vocational Training. At, many of these offers can be found on the respective regional pages of the employment agencies and job centres.