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Print version Recommend this page Press release

20/ 2012
Bonn, 09.05.2012


BIBB predicts training place market improvement in 2012

BIBB Data Report of the 2012 Report on Vocational Education and Training published

Modest increase in available training opportunities and newly concluded training contracts while number of applicants falls marginally: that is the assessment of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) for the apprenticeship market in autumn 2012 as compared to the preceding year. "From the point of view of the young people, the trend is encouraging", says BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser on the occasion of today's publication of the BIBB Data Report. "Their training opportunities will continue to increase." For companies, however, it will become harder to find the "right" trainee. "I do not consider it justified to speak of a general shortage of applicants at the present time, however." There are still enough applicants, after all. What is problematic, says Esser, is the "perfect fit". "In many industries, occupations and regions there are extreme disparities between demand and supply." The imperative now is to find practical approaches to a solution of that problem. With its data and analyses, the BIBB Data Report supplements the "2012 Report on Vocational Education and Training" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), adopted today by the Federal Cabinet.

The BIBB assessment for the year 2012 assumes an increase of about 6,400 in the number of training places to a total of 606,000 (+1.0%). With the number of applicants falling at the same time by some 2,100 to about 644,800 (-0.4%), there will presumably be a smaller increase of +0.2% in the number of newly concluded training contracts, to about 571,600. "On the basis of these predictions", said Esser, "there is reason to fear that the number of unfilled training places will continue to increase this year." In 2011, just under 30,000 training places remained unfilled. In a representative survey of companies conducted by the BIBB in the spring of 2011, about 35% of the companies indicated that their training places had not all been filled. Esser appealed to all those in responsible positions in vocational education and training to do whatever they could to reverse that trend.

"The difficulties in finding a perfect fit between the supply of training places and the demand play a major role here. Improvement requires flexibility and commitment on the part of all those involved: Mobility aids", says Esser, "can help give young people confidence in their ability to change regions. They should use the extensive vocational orientation offers, find out about the wide range of training opportunities and consider different training pathways." For the companies it is necessary, Esser says, to be open to all training place applicants, to pursue an offensive marketing strategy and to couple it with attractive general training conditions. "That could include, for example, offering supplementary qualifications or periods of training abroad."

The BIBB President was "very pleased" with the decreasing numbers in the transition area. "The figures in the Report on Vocational Education and Training published today by the Federal government show that the companies have recognized the potential of those whose chances in the apprenticeship market were slight a few years ago." However, the demographic trend alone, Esser went on, will not resolve the structural problems in the transition area. Thorough optimisation is required here. "The education chain approach of the Federal government is a correct and important step. However, it must be extended throughout the country and stabilised." Ultimately the support of all the Federal states will be needed as well. Owing to the fundamental importance of the topic, the "transitions from school to training" were also taken up as a core item of content in this year's Data Report, Esser stresses in conclusion.

The Data Report has been published by the BIBB since 2009 and supplements the annual Report on Vocational Education and Training of the Federal government with an indicator-based data section. The more than 400-page standard work provides current data, facts and analyses, underpinned by numerous tables, diagrams and graphs, on initial and continuing vocational education and training trends in Germany.

A pre-publication version can be downloaded free of charge from the BIBB website under The final version of the 2012 BIBB Data Report is expected to be available online at the end of May and as a print publication in mid-July.

The 2012 "Report on Vocational Education and Training" of the Federal government is available online at

Voucher copy requested if reprinted.

Last modified on: May-31-12


Publisher: Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB)
The President
Robert-Schuman-Platz 3
53175 Bonn

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