Even though, by international standards, German pupils receive good marks in the natural sciences, they do not seem to be motivated to take up corresponding study courses: the number of graduates of engineering study courses even fell from 50.000 in 1995 to 40.000 last year. Thus, recently the number of young university graduates of an engineering or natural science course per 1000 employees did not even amount to 2 people any more. In contrast, this number was 4.9 in Finland and 5.1 in South Korea.
Due to a lack of specialists resulting from this development there were 165.000 vacancies for high-qualified people which could not be filled. 80% of these were jobs for graduates of mathematics, computer sciences, natural sciences and technical study courses. In total, the number of vacancies which could not be filled in 2006 led to a loss of value added amounting to 18.5 billion Euros to the German economy which corresponds to 0.8% of GDP. At least those specialists who could be recruited are not lacking quality. According to the panel on the future (Zukunftspanel) by the Institute for the German Economy (IW) in Cologne, two thirds of the 1600 companies interviewed consider the skills of their engineers and natural scientists to be good or very good.