BIBB President Esser: “Securing skilled labour will be one of the greatest challenges of this decade”

PHOTO Credits: by Sten Rademaker on Unsplash


After the considerable losses last year in the wake of the Corona pandemic and its combating, the current situation on the training market only eased slightly in 2021. With a total of 473,100 newly concluded contracts for vocational training, 52,000 fewer contracts were concluded than in 2019, before the Corona pandemic.

The number of training places on offer in 2021 was 536,200, more than 40,000 fewer than in 2019, before the Corona pandemic (578,200).  

The number of young people seeking dual vocational training fell again by 4,800 (-0.9%) to 540,900 compared to the previous year. The demand for training places thus reached a new low since 1992, when the data for the reunified Germany were first available.

In contrast, the number of unfilled training places continued to rise and reached a new record level. 63,200 training places remained unfilled in 2021. The number of unfilled training places had already steadily increased in previous years (2019: 53,100, 2020: 59,900).

BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser said the Corona pandemic also had a firm grip on the training market in 2021. Dual training continues to be a central component for qualifying the skilled workers of tomorrow. Nevertheless, the uncertainty caused by the ongoing pandemic is palpable among companies and young people. An increasing problem is a steadily decreasing demand for training places by youths and young adults. Because “where there is a lack of trainees today, there will be a lack of skilled workers tomorrow,” said Esser.

Therefore, finding and qualifying enough skilled workers will be one of the greatest challenges of the current decade. An attractive and robust vocational education and training system is needed to meet this challenge.