Press release

More refugees in dual vocational education and training

Skilled trades report significant growth—BIBB special analysis

51/2018 | Bonn, 27.11.2018

There has been a sharp rise in the number of foreign trainees who are citizens of one of the most common non-European asylum countries of origin. This group of countries includes Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria. In 2017, the number of newly concluded training contracts with people from these countries was more than 15,000 (in 2016, approx. 6,000; 2008 approx. 1,000).

These are the findings from a special analysis by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) based on VET statistics from the federal government and federal states. The VET statistics record dual vocational education and training in accordance with the Vocational Training Act and the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code. While, in this case, data on migration or refugee background is not recorded, it can be assumed that among the foreign trainees who are citizens of the countries referred to, a large proportion and also over recent years, comprise refugee migrants.

In 2017, a disproportionate number of foreign trainees (50%) with nationality of an asylum country of origin fell within the remit of the skilled trades. This led the skilled trades to report significant growth, as in 2008 the figure was around only 27%.

In the view of BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser, the findings show that the skilled trades have benefited in particular from this group of people. “The immense task which the skilled trades are taking on in terms of their social responsibility and integration function is abundantly clear.”

The data, published in the BIBB's “Trainee Data System” (DAZUBI), also shows that the vast majority (90% of new contracts) of trainees who are citizens of an asylum country of origin, are male. For foreign trainees as a whole, the figure is approximately 68%, and among German trainees around 62%. Furthermore, with an average age of 23 when entering into the new contract, this group of people are significantly older than foreign trainees (approx. 22) or German trainees (19.6).

Taking the ten most popular training occupations as the basis, trainees who are citizens of an asylum country of origin do not differ significantly on the whole from foreign trainees or trainees with a German passport. In particular, however, men from this group of people end up in occupations which struggle to fill positions, such a chef or baker, and are therefore helping to reduce the number of unfilled training positions in these occupations.

The BIBB’s special analysis also shows that, as a whole, the proportion of foreigners commencing vocational training in the dual system is still significantly below the proportion of young people with a German passport. “Despite all efforts and successes achieved,” explains BIBB President Esser, “it therefore remains a major challenge for business and society to successfully integrate foreign young people in the German training and labour market and to exploit their potential.”

More detailed information about the BIBB special analysis is available in “Ausländische Auszubildende in der dualen Berufsausbildung: Einmündung und Ausbildungserfolg. Eine Analyse auf Basis der Berufsbildungsstatistik mit besonderer Betrachtung der Staatsangehörigkeiten der zugangsstärksten Asylherkunftsländer [Foreign trainees in dual vocational education and training: Entry and training success. An analysis based on VET statistics with particular consideration given to citizenship of the most common asylum countries of origin]”. Available to download at www.bibb.de/dazubi2017-01 (German only).

Information on the BIBB’s trainee data system (DAZUBI): www.bibb.de/dazubi (German only).

In a further investigation relating to “Refugees in training”, the BIBB addressed the question of which numbers come from where and explained in a summary why different statistics need to be used for the overall picture. In this case the number of refugees in training has also risen. However, it is also established that many young people with a migration background are still involved in activities in the transitional sector. How many this is in total cannot be quantified precisely at a federal level because the statistics do not cover all the measures implemented at federal, state or municipality level. Further information: “Weniger Geflüchtete im Übergangsbereich, mehr in Berufsausbildung? Welche Hinweise liefern amtliche Statistiken? [Fewer refugees in the transitional sector, more in vocational education and training? What information do the official statistics provide?]”. Available for download at www.bibb.de/de/87934.php (German only).