Trade guilds are specifically appealing to students or those considering that path, saying that a career in a trade can be much more straightforward than the academic alternative.
Trade guild association president Otto Kentzler told Wednesday's Saarbrücker Zeitung newspaper that the guilds were targeting students who were frustrated with academia.
He said what he called a trend of making everything academic was fatal, and suggested that around a third of students at the large universities failed to finish their degrees. Those studying science were subjected to frequent intermediate exams which filtered out the weaker candidates, he said.
Should they instead opt for a trade, those same people would get "clear orientation - to the top", he said.
But he also criticised the standard of education which schools were giving young people, saying that many trainees struggled when they first joined a firm. "Many trade masters take matters into their own hands and give their trainees extra tuition," said Kentzler.