With the new training year about to begin, Germany's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) admitted that it still had over 100,000 free places for apprenticeships on its books. On top of this came 23,000 free places listed by trade employment agency Handwerk.
“Between now and autumn we are trying to get people to give up the idea of their dream job and into a sensible profession,” a spokeswoman from the federal employment office (BFA) told The Local.
Guiding unemployed youngsters into a more realistic, vocational profession is at this time of year a top priority, she said.
Nearly 90 percent of apprenticeships are organised through the DIHK and Handwerk. Both said that 2013's figures for available positions were higher than previous years.
Figures from the federal employment agency suggest that the case is not that Germany lacks the manpower to fill the positions, but rather than the country's youth is not interested. At the end of July, there were 157,000 young jobseekers registered as “looking”. Around 46,000 had been offered a training position but turned it down.
“It is normal that there are lots of unfilled positions at this time of year,” said the spokeswoman. She added that the challenge would lie in getting them filled. They will be working closely with the DIHK and Handwerk.
President of Handwerk Otto Kentzler called for more effort to be made to recruit young immigrants into practical roles. “The Turk is the craftsman of the future,” he said on Thursday.
There was also disparity between states, jobs on offer and unemployment figures. In Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Lower Saxony there were more applicants than jobs. While in Hamburg, Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, there were more jobs than people.