Berlin (Xinhua) : More than a quarter (25.8 percent) of vocational jobs training program in Germany are not completed, the newspaper “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” reported on Wednesday.
It cited official figures from the Ministry of Education which would be featured in an upcoming “Jobs Training Report” for the year 2018.
The report threatens to dent the reputation of the widely-admired German dual educational system, comprised of a university and a vocational training path, as a means to endow citizens with the necessary skills for the labor market. The report listed a range of reasons why individuals chose not to conclude a vocational skill training program, including conflict with supervisors, a low quality of training, unfavorable working conditions and false expectations.
Companies polled by the Ministry of Education in turn indicated “insufficient performance of training tasks” by apprentices and a lack of “motivation or integration into the business environment” as frequently-encountered obstacles to a successful completion of a program.
In certain career training schemes, like ones for cooks, waiters and hairdressers, the number of dropouts was even higher — nearly every second apprentice gave up on their vocational training before sitting final exams. Overall, the rate of incomplete programs in 2018 was the highest since the early 1990s despite record low unemployment in Germany’s booming economy.
The Ministry of Education noted in its report that it was possible that the availability of jobs was incentivizing apprentices to switch more readily between different types of training programs as the overall risk of being out of work was currently low.
The Federal Labor Agency registered 778,000 job vacancies this March, 86,000 more over the same period last year. On an annual basis, unemployment declined by 204,000 individuals in March while the official unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 5.5 percent.
According to the official analysis seen on Wednesday, there were significant differences in the rate of dropouts across different vocational programs. Whereas 50.6 percent of security personnel trainees gave up on their career prematurely, while only 4.1 of apprentices in administration did not conclude their program.
Elke Hannack, deputy director of the Federation of German Trade Unions (DGB), mainly attributed the discrepancy in dropout rates across specific types of careers to poor pay in some training programs.
Hannack consequently urged Berlin to speed up plans to create a minimum wage for participants in vocational training which is scheduled to become legally-applicable by January 2020 according to the new federal government’s coalition agreement.
However, business representatives have sought to prevent the measure from being enacted which they have described as illicit government interference in collective bargaining.
Although the Ministry of Education described the general situation of the vocational jobs training sector as “slightly positive”, with a growing number (80 percent) of firms are no longer taking apprentices although they had the legal right to do so for lack of demand.
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