Apprenticeship Market Review 2018/2019

applicant market continues to develop – challenges remain

30 Oct 2019 | Press Release No. 33

“The applicant market continued to develop in 2018/19, but the challenge of bringing together companies with individuals looking for apprenticeships remains high. More compromises are required if we want to make progress here”, said the Chairman of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), Detlef Scheele, when presenting the review of the 2018/2019 vocational guidance year. He stated: “If applicants are also open to vocational training outside their dream profession and companies consider candidates who aren’t quite as strong, I’m optimistic that training relationships can still be established in the second round of referrals”.

From October 2018 to September 2019, a total of 572,000 apprenticeships were registered with the employment agencies (Agentur für Arbeit) and job centres (Jobcenter) in joint facilities – 6,600 more than in the same period last year. The vast majority are in-house apprenticeships, which have grown by 9,500 to 556,000.

Since the start of the vocational guidance year on 1 October 2018, a total of 511,800 applicants have used the placement services offered by the employment agencies and job centres when searching for an apprenticeship. That’s 23,800 fewer than last year.

As a result, more in-house apprenticeships have once again been registered over the course of the vocational guidance year compared to the number of applicants. On a national level, there were 92 registered applicants for every 100 registered in-house apprenticeships. However, disparities between different regions, occupations and qualifications remain a challenge for the market balance.

From a regional perspective, significantly more apprenticeships have been registered than applicants in southern Germany, Saarland, Thuringia, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Hamburg. In contrast, there is a particular lack of in-house apprenticeships in Berlin, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia.

There is a much higher chance of finding an apprenticeship in certain occupations. There is a particular lack of applicants in many trades, such as manufacturing, the sale of meat and bakery products, and construction and similar occupations (e.g. plumbing, heating and air conditioning or energy technology), in hotels and restaurants, and in mechatronics and automation technology. In contrast, there are far fewer apprenticeships than applicants in fields like carpentry, motor vehicle sales, automotive engineering, office and administration jobs, and medical assistance.

As a result of these disparities, there were still 53,100 vacant apprenticeships on 30 September 2019 – 4,500 fewer than in the previous year. Most vacancies were in hairdressing, the bakery and butchery trade (including the sale of foodstuffs), the hotel and restaurant industry, and in some construction trades and similar occupations.

At the same time, 24,500 applicants had yet to be placed – the same number as a year ago. This leaves 5% of registered applicants without an apprenticeship or alternative offer.

As in the previous year, around half of the registered applicants have ended up in vocational training (49%). 16% have decided to continue their school education, start an internship or study, and 2% have decided to complete subsidised qualifications, such as vocational preparation courses or entry-level qualifications. Another 7% have taken on employment, while 2% have become involved in charitable and social work, and 4% have registered as unemployed. No information is available for 13% of applicants.

In addition to the unplaced applicants, 49,200 young people had accepted an alternative by 30 September but still wish to find a form of dual training. This figure is 4,900 lower than in the previous year.

Activities will be resumed for these individuals and those without a placement. Moreover, some young people are still looking for an apprenticeship (or a new one) for various reasons, and companies are registering new or vacant apprenticeships.

More statistical information is available online (in German) at > Arbeitsmarktberichte > Ausbildungsmarkt.