Press release

Further consolidation of participation in training by businesses

BIBB analysis of developments between 2011 and 2014

50/2015 | Bonn, 14.12.2015


Falling demand for new workers, poor experience when searching for applicants, value for money of training and changes to the company based training conditions: According to statements from companies, these are the main reasons why they have reduced their participation in dual vocational education and training between 2011 and 2014. Results of a company survey (“BIBB qualification panel”) by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) show that 17 % of a total of 3,500 companies questioned over the years 2011 to 2014 either concluded less new training contracts, or appointed no new trainees. However, this also means that the vast majority of businesses have maintained their commitment to training.

Specific patterns emerge in the reasons cited by those businesses delivering less education and training: Of those businesses which have either reduced or stopped their education and training activities, 43 % stated that they no longer needed to train new workers themselves. One in four businesses reported that they were concluding fewer training contracts, or had ceased to do this altogether, due to a lack of opportunities to take on new workers. Almost a third (29 %) explained that they were training less because they needed workers who were already trained.

Two out of five businesses reduced their involvement in training because they were receiving fewer applications or no applications at all. With regard to this, almost one in every three businesses complained that in most cases they received unsuitable applicants from the relevant placement intermediaries, and around 30 % pointed to the fact that training courses offered were not sufficiently attractive for young people. Finally, one in five businesses were involved in less training because the search for trainees was too time consuming and costly.

One in every four businesses cited increased costs of training and approximately one in five did less education and training, or had stopped altogether, because they were not able to deploy trainees pro-ductively. One in eight had reduced their involvement in training due to increased costs of supervision, and roughly one in twelve responded that they were no longer able to deliver all of the education and training content.

As further reasons for reduced participation in training, 14 % of businesses stated at the end that the decision to reduce involvement in training had been specified by company headquarters. One in five businesses reduced their provision in terms of initial education training and, instead of which, had con-solidated their advanced and continuing education and training activities for employees. Around a further 17 % referred to the deterioration in economic conditions as well as to restructuring measures in their own business.

The results underline the importance of providing support for companies with education and training. However, in the view of BIBB president Friedrich Hubert Esser, support options must be used which are specifically tailored to each type of business: “The 'watering can' principle is unhelpful in this instance. The BIBB analysis demonstrates that a close examination of the facts is worthwhile. A strategy focussed on an even more comprehensive and also more targeted and coordinated use of existing measures and support instruments, such as education chains and vocational orientation as well as assisted education and training, is obviously a step in the right direction.

Further information is available in the new issue of the BIBB REPORT, Issue 4/2015. “Declining company participation in apprenticeship training: Reasons and patterns”. This issue can be downloaded free of charge on the internet at www.bibb.de/bibbreport.

Specimen copy requested if printed.