Lots of high school graduates, but no skilled workers: what’s going wrong with the job market

Skilled worker shortage: ‘Cannibalism’ threatens: why we train past reality

A torrent of high school graduates will satisfy a shortage of skilled labor. A generation of young, aspiring high school graduates is crushed. The state of poets and thinkers provides the training required by the state that goes beyond the labor market.

Susan Banari heads the Youth Welfare Committee in her town. She lives in Neuss, a small town that benefits from being in the suburbs near Düsseldorf. But what Binary says doesn’t seem to be bacon belt, but rather a severe shortage: “There will be cannibalism on the staff,” you’d expect, referring to kindergarten. Binary fears, because kindergarten teachers are as rare as snowflakes in the desert, the social organizations that run the kindergartens will hunt each other’s employees. And Rayner Breuer, the mayor of the SPD, publicly threatens: the ever-growing city will not build any new kindergartens as long as no staff are found.

Sexy, but you don’t have time now?

Education, construction and care: there is a shortage of skilled workers here

War of the Heads – in Neuess hits the little ones. Early childhood education has been postponed to a later time. Specialized radar just published by the Bertelsmann Foundation shows that this is not an exclusive Noyes problem: primary school shortages persist. There will be a shortage of more than 100,000 skilled daily care workers by 2030.

So it is not only professionals in construction, maintenance or information technology that are sought after. It is also very bad for skilled workers because many high school students who were previously well educated now prefer university. For a quarter of them, this turned out to be a misjudgment of their interests or an overestimation of their abilities. You will give up your studies.

Many high school graduates, few skilled workers: Germany stuck in an educational dilemma

Amazed by the supposedly good Abitur, students move on to universities, colleges and technical colleges within a few months. Like rodents: 392 German universities currently offer a total of 20,359 courses – almost double what they were in 2007. About 2.9 million students are currently enrolled. But in MINT subjects alone—mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, and technology—about 43 percent of knowledge-hungry people dropped out of their studies in 2021.

This figure contains Germany’s educational dilemma: there is a flood of high school graduates and yet there is a shortage of skilled labour. Germany trains after the market. Nobody wants to go back to the GDR era, when planned economics was describing what to learn and who to learn. But things cannot continue this way either. Twenty years ago, nearly 30 percent of the group had attained a college entrance qualification, and at the same time it was more than half. In Thuringia, only 40 per cent of my father’s class students celebrated a traumatic first grade.

Academic training has suddenly become necessary for many professions

But even version 1.0 is no longer a guarantee, for example, of getting a place in a medical course. The best German universities no longer accept 1.0 with only 820 points in Abitur. It should be more than 850 or 870 points – in purely arithmetic terms, HSC 0.9 or 0.8. Only those who got 15 points, that is, one plus, in all high school exams almost continuously for two years. The reasons given by universities for the stricter selection of elites: There are simply too many 1.0 candidates.

Along with better and better grades, the academicization of professions for which solid training outside a university or technical college was once sufficient. Become a hotel clerk with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Restaurant Management, and a Shipping Clerk with a Bachelor’s degree in Logistics Management. The midwife also became an academic. She has had to study since 2020, so the country wants her – after many EU countries – with the Midwifery Law (HebG).

Many high school graduates are unable to go to university

But it is contradictory. At the same time, both company coaches and university teachers complain: good high school graduates lack basic knowledge at the university and in the company. Not only in math and science. A few months before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, in which the learning conditions for students deteriorated significantly, the President of the German Rectors’ Conference, Peter Andre Alt, warned: “There are serious shortcomings in terms of the ability of many high school graduates to study. We live in the fantasy that Study requirements have been met with Abitur. The reality shows that this is often not true.” First-year students meet the requirements much worse than before, and there are critical notes from universities when it comes to text comprehension and writing skills.

Is educational researcher Elsbeth Stern also suitable for Germany? From the perspective of the Swiss school scene she examined, ETH Zurich professor succinctly explains: “At least 30 percent of middle school students do not belong to grammar schools – because they are not overly intelligent.”

But it is not only the education policy of wanting to have more and more high school graduates that raises false hopes and thus actively contributes to labor shortages in individual sectors. Grammar schools themselves rarely promote the possibility of getting a job without a degree. Instead, students are prompted to it from the first day of high school about how important the phrase numerus clausus is to their ability to study and thus to their entire future. Colossal pressure brings many young men to their knees.

Companies Fail to Attract Students for Training

In the same way, companies miss the opportunity to make themselves known as an attractive training company in schools. As a rule, all high school graduates in Germany in middle school must complete an internship. Usually two weeks in a company or organization of their choice, they should gain insight into work and career. The first opportunity for companies to inspire high school students and comprehensive schools to train as professionals. But a student is rarely assigned there later.

Companies have not been able to get young people excited about themselves – despite great support from the recruitment agency. Smart mediums don’t stop company interns so they can “watch.” They tempt with elaborately designed training programs and accompaniments to inspire young people for a new subject. Do good – and declare it. Even with an apprenticeship, there are many career paths and paths open to you. But how many high school seniors know that? Even EU-funded internships abroad, such as students, are possible for interns – even in small businesses. But very few companies take advantage of this opportunity.

The state should not lure young people down the wrong academic path

High school graduates looking for a job can attract large mid-sized companies with a dual study program. Practice in the company, theory at the University of Applied Sciences – this is an ideal combination for many high school graduates who were not born a bookworm. And it’s a good compromise for companies: their dropout rate is lower than that of other students and more than half are still employed by the company after three to five years.

But it is also the duty of the state not to lure ambitious young people down the wrong academic path. For example, the examination system in vocational training should be evaluated and the permeability of training professions dependent on each other simplified. But how many students will hear about it?

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The origin of this article “Personal cannibalism threatens: why we train past reality” comes from WirtschaftsKurier.