Press release

Third migrant generation sees an improved transition into training

BIBB study on young people with a migration background

49/2018 | Bonn, 15.11.2018

When they finish general education school in Year 10 or 11 and immediately look to enter vocational education and training, the third generation of young people with a migration background are just as successful in the search for a training position as young people without a migration background. Over a period of around three years after leaving school, they then enter either dual or school-based vocational education and training just as often and just as quickly. The “third generation” refers to migrants born in Germany whose parents were also born in Germany and whose grandparents arrived in Germany as immigrants.

The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) has conducted an analysis, based on the National Education Panel data of transitions, into vocational education and training differentiated according to migrant generation. The results are presented in the latest issue of the BIBB REPORT series. These are based on statements from almost 6000 young people who left mainstream schooling in 2011/2012 at the end of Year 10 or 11.

Young people with a migration background are overall less frequently interested in immediately starting vocational education and training when they leave school. This also applies to third-generation migrants, although to a much lesser extent. As a consequence, even in the third generation, young people with a migration background commence vocational education and training less frequently than young people without a migration background.

Compared to young third-generation migrants, the chances of those from the second generation successfully entering vocational education and training are significantly lower. Although they were also born in Germany, the average level of their school leaving certificate is significantly lower, thereby decreasing their prospects of securing a training position. Yet even with the same school leaving certificate, young second-generation migrants enter vocational education and training more slowly and less frequently than those of the third generation or than young people without a migration background.

The chances of making a successful transition into vocational education and training are lowest for young people from the first migrant generation—they are born abroad and arrive in Germany as immigrants themselves, in most cases with their family. And, once again, their school leaving certificates are at a significantly lower level than those of young people in the second generation. The greatest difficulties are reported by those who were six or older when they arrived in Germany. They perform the worst in school, apply for a training position relatively infrequently, and overall commence vocational education and training the least often. However, those in this group seeking company-based training when they leave school are relatively successful, at least after two to three years, and enter vocational education and training more frequently than young second-generation migrants.

The team behind the study is of the opinion that creating equal training opportunities for migrants is a task which will extend over the long-term and which will necessitate intensive support for young people. They explain that, as part of this, a much greater understanding of the particular problems facing young people is required and that these problems need to be addressed. In addition, the value which vocational education and training programme brings to later life must be made much clearer. Awareness among first-generation young people in particular is far too underdeveloped and cannot be taken for granted even in the third generation. The worst chances for first and second-generation young migrants could also be associated with potential prejudices which might exist against them in companies. Therefore, explain the authors, it is still necessary to dispel reservations that companies might have concerning young people with a migration background. They explain that, given the impending shortage of skilled workers, the potential of all young people—regardless of their origin—needs to be better exploited.

Further information is available in BIBB REPORT 6/2018 “Transition of school leavers with a migration background, and without qualifications for higher education, into training leading to a full qualification”. The issue can be downloaded free of charge at wwwbibb.de/bibbreport (German only).

Specimen copy requested if printed.