Apprentices are becoming harder to find

A growing number of entrepreneurs in Germany are resorting to drastic measures such as doubling salaries because each year fewer young people sign up for apprenticeships, typically three-year programmes for 16-year-olds who want to learn a trade rather than go on to higher education, reports Associated Press.

Recent figures showed almost 120,000 vacant apprenticeships in Germany. That’s about 14,500 more unfilled places than in 2013, the sharpest yearly increase in recent history. The problem is partly caused by Germany’s strong economy and low birth rate, resulting in demand for new apprentices outstripping the number who enter the workforce each year.

Germany’s strong labour market has also compounded a long-term trend for school pupils to continue their education at university in the hope of earning a higher salary. The number of Germans at university topped 2.2 million in 2012, about twice the number 30 years earlier. Meanwhile, the number of people in vocational training dropped to around 1.4 million in 2012 compared with 1.7 million in 1980.
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