German SMEs are to train more apprentices

Otto Kentzler, chairman of the Federal association of German craft companies (ZdH), in an article published in the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung magazine calls upon SMEs to take on more apprentices. In view of the looming lack of qualified young workers, Kentzler urges “to make a better use of the momentum gained by the economy” and to recruit more apprentices in order to be prepared for the future.

Kentzler´s appeal comes as a reaction to the expression of disapproval by the Federal Minister of Labour, Mr. Müntefering, who, with the toleration of his boss, Chancellor Angela Merkel, has already threatened to take appropriate measures, if the number of training posts was to remain on as low a level as in the first few months of this year. In the meantime, Angela Merkel expects 50.000 lacking training posts and Franz Müntefering reproaches the economy for the fact that half of the companies are not willing to provide training. The Federal Minister of Education, Mrs. Annette Schavan, as a reaction to the current training post situation, has announced easings for companies willing to take on apprentices.

One reason for this situation is said to be annual training costs of approx. 18.000 Euros per apprentice. Heinrich Pierer, chairman of the Council for innovation and growth and head of the supervisory board of the Siemens AG as well as Ludwig Georg Braun, chairman of the Association of German chambers of commerce and industry (DIHK) consider these costs to be one of the reasons which keep small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) from creating new training posts. GERMAN