The East is catching up

Development of training allowances based on collective wage agreements in 2016

EIn Taschenrechner und Geldscheine

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Training allowances based on collective wage agreements rose significantly once again in 2016, although the increase was somewhat weaker in overall terms compared to previous years. The average gross amount earned by trainees in West Germany was €859 per month. This represents an increase of 3.2 % compared to the previous year. In East Germany, training allowances based on collective wage agreements rose by 4.9 % to reach an average of €807 per month. This represents a narrowing of the gap between the East German and West German collective wage agreement levels. The amount of remuneration in East Germany has now reached 94% of the western rate 2015: 92%). The average training allowance based on collective wage agreements for the whole of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2016 was €854 per month (+ 3.4 %).

These results have been compiled by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) in its evaluation of training allowances based on collective wage agreements for the year 2016. Average remunerations were calculated for 181 occupations in West Germany and 151 occupations in East Germany. Average values for the whole of Germany were also calculated. The occupations included in the evaluation accounted for 89% of all training contracts. BIBB has been carrying out this evaluation of training allowances based on collective wage agreements, for which the cut-off date is 1 October, on an annual basis since 1976.

There are considerable differences in the amount of remuneration between the training occupations. In 2016, training allowances based on collective wage agreements were particularly high in the main construction trades, such as bricklayer, where the overall average was €1,042 per month. The average figure for West Germany was €1,090, significantly higher than the €897 paid in the East. Very high allowances were also paid in occupations such as insurance and financial services broker (average rate in both parts of the country: €1,028), mechatronics fitter (overall: €1,023, West: €1,027, East: €1,005) and print media technologist (average rate in both parts of the country: €963).

By way of contrast, training allowances tended to be comparatively low in such occupations as painter and varnisher (average rate in both parts of the country: €670), baker (average rate in both parts of the country: €618), florist (average rate in both parts of the country: €587) and chimney sweep (average rate in both parts of the country: €495).

Because of the good economic situation in Germany, and particularly also in light of the further growing difficulties experienced by many companies in filling their training places, training allowances based on collective wage agreements have been raised significantly over recent years. In West Germany, the annual rates of increase between 2012 and 2014 were each over 4.0% before falling back slightly to under the 4.0% level in 2015 and 2016. By way of contrast, training allowances based on collective wage agreements in East Germany have been rising by more than 4.0% annually since 2012.

In training occupations with a major shortage of applicants, such as craft trade occupations in the food industry, occupations in the hotel and restaurant trade, and occupations in the cleaning sector, both above-average and below-average increases could be observed in 2016. In the occupation of “baker”, for example, training allowances in both West and East Germany saw only a relatively small rise of 3.0%. On the other hand, stronger increases of 4.1 % in the West and 5.6 % in the East also took place in the occupations of “restaurant specialist” and “cook”. The occupation of “professional caterer” in East Germany received a considerable boost of 9.0%, whereas the corresponding figure for West Germany was 4.0%. In the occupation of “industrial cleaner”, however, growth in both West and East Germany was below the average at 3.0% and 3.5% respectively.

Considerable differences between West and East Germany also continued to persist between areas of training. In 2016, above-average training allowances were paid in the public sector (average rate in both parts of the country: €929) and in trade and industry (overall: €921, West: €929, East: €858). Remunerations paid in the field of the independent professions were below the total average (overall: €769, West: €770, East: €745). The same situation also applied in agriculture (overall: €731, West: €751, East: €639) and in the craft trades sector (overall: €714, West: €719, East: €655).

A detailed presentation of the results and eight downloadable charts are presented in the article “Training allowances based on collective wage agreements 2016 – lower increase in the West, a stronger rise in the East”, which is available on the German BIBB website at https://www.bibb.de/ausbildungsverguetungen-2016

An overall summary of the average levels of remuneration identified for 2016 in the occupations forming the object of the survey can be accessed via www.bibb.de/ausbildungsverguetung (German only).

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