"Training premium alone does not create more training places".

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The expansion of the training premium is an encouraging signal for more companies to train many young people despite the Corona pandemic. The VDMA points out that vocational orientation in schools and career guidance by employment agencies in particular should be intensified in order to strengthen vocational training.

"The VDMA welcomes the Federal Government's intention to extend the training premium to companies with up to 500 employees. This recognizes the extraordinary efforts of more companies that have been severely affected by the pandemic but are nonetheless maintaining or even increasing training positions," said Dr. Jörg Friedrich, head of the VDMA's education department, commenting on the government's plans. "Instead of a increase in the bonus, however, we would have liked to see it extended to larger companies affected by the pandemic. After all, they, just like the smaller ones, are largely maintaining their training offer under more difficult conditions". So far, only companies with less than 250 employees had benefited from the premium.
In this connection, he pointed out that the number of applicants for training places was currently down by a substantial 12 per cent nationwide and across all sectors. At the same time, the number of registered in-company training places had fallen by 9 per cent. "Together, we must succeed in inspiring and winning more young people for vocational training again," Friedrich demanded.

"Together we must succeed in getting more young people interested in vocational training again and winning them over."

Friedrich makes it clear, however, that in addition to the economy, the state is also called upon to promote vocational training. "Vocational guidance in schools and career counselling by employment agencies are unfortunately only taking place to a very limited extent at the moment. Digital offers, which are also provided by companies, can only compensate for this to a very limited extent. Employment agencies must therefore also find ways to maintain career guidance in order to arouse interest in vocational training among young people."

According to the VDMA education expert, the training situation in the German mechanical and plant engineering sector is "relatively stable" despite Corona. About two-thirds of the companies wanted to train the same amount in the future, one-fifth less and about 10 percent more.
According to the Federal Employment Agency, in February 2021 there would be around 70,000 training places on offer in mechanical engineering-related occupations compared with around 44,000 applicants. "The chances of young people finding a training place in mechanical and plant engineering are therefore good, despite Corona," says Friedrich.