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Dirk Werner / Paula Risius / Anika Jansen IW-Policy Paper No. 21 23. September 2021 New paths or wrong paths for the training market?

Some of the demands made by the political parties in their election programs for the federal elections are specifically aimed at increasing the demand for and supply of vocational education and training. In this analysis, the measures are evaluated economically based on empirical data and previous research findings.

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New paths or wrong paths for the training market?
Dirk Werner / Paula Risius / Anika Jansen IW-Policy Paper No. 21 23. September 2021

New paths or wrong paths for the training market?

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

Some of the demands made by the political parties in their election programs for the federal elections are specifically aimed at increasing the demand for and supply of vocational education and training. In this analysis, the measures are evaluated economically based on empirical data and previous research findings.

To increase the supply of training positions, some parties propose, firstly, apportionment financing of training and, secondly, a guarantee to receive a training position. From an economic point of view, neither measure is suitable for increasing the number of training positions offered by companies, and in addition they lead to unintended side effects. The underlying argument is that the measures override the market’s inherent mechanism for achieving a high match between training capacities and labor market demands.

To boost applicants’ demand, the political parties consider measures to increase the attractiveness of training occupations, to address individual needs, and to improve the regional and occupational fit. In this context, some support measures can be seen as reasonable and may even lead to an increase in the number of training places on offer. However, only a few parties address regional matching problems, and not all the proposed measures are effective in the area of vocational orientation either.

Overall, it is questionable whether the proposed measures can sufficiently improve the situation on the training market. Many of the parties’ proposals are either too vague to analyse the specific project behind them, or they are not suitable for improving the situation on the training market. There are already many programs to promote apprenticeship readiness and support companies in recruiting apprentices. The existing challenges on the training market have existed for a long time, but have become even more acute, especially because of the Covid epidemic. The fields of action are therefore relatively non-controversial. More important, however, would be the specific design of measures and, associated with this, innovative concepts. In view of this, the parties’ vague proposals are insufficient.

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New paths or wrong paths for the training market?
Dirk Werner / Paula Risius / Anika Jansen IW-Policy Paper No. 21 23. September 2021

New paths or wrong paths for the training market?

Download PDF Quote

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

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