For many companies, training is an important component in securing the company. But Corona makes it harder to find apprentices.
IIn the past, it was never difficult to find suitable trainees at the Kopp travel agency. With its five locations, the company is one of the largest owner-managed travel agencies in the Rhine-Main area. “Before Corona, we received 250 applications for each apprenticeship position. Now there are only five to ten per advertised position. That’s quite a number, ”says trainer and managing director Isabella Rau. Due to the significantly lower number of applications, there has only been one hiring so far. Four of the five advertised training positions for the summer are still vacant.
A similar development can be observed in the Frankfurt Caféhaus Siesmayer: “We are currently only receiving a fifth of the usual applications,” says Managing Director Robert Mangold. Fortunately, despite the low number of applicants, the number of apprentices in his company has so far only changed slightly: Instead of the usual ten to fifteen apprentices, there are currently nine to ten. “We got away with it with a black eye, but other colleagues were hit harder: Smaller craft businesses that only have a master craftsman, a journeyman and usually three apprentices can no longer accept as many jobs when they suddenly only have one apprentice “, Knows Mangold.
No internships and training fairs
It is not just Rau und Mangold who have difficulties in finding trainees. According to figures from the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Frankfurt-Rhein-Main Chamber of Crafts, significantly fewer training contracts were concluded in 2020 than in the previous year. In the trades the number fell by 30 percent and in industry and trade by around eight percent. Together, the chambers currently have more than 3000 vacant apprenticeship positions.
Rau and Mangold see the reason for the decline in the uncertainty that has arisen among school leavers as to whether the sectors are still future-proof. From the point of view of the managing directors, this concern is unjustified, since both the tourism industry and the hospitality industry have always been crisis-proof sectors and demand is already high again: “The willingness to book has been extremely high since this month, everyone wants to travel,” says Rau. Also, due to the pandemic-related closings of the hospitality industry and the restrictions on tourism, many did not even know that the companies would still continue to train: “That is an incredible shame, especially at the moment a trainee would learn a lot.” Company presentations in schools are further hurdles for school leavers to find out about industries and their future viability: “Because of Corona, all of this has been eliminated,” says Rau.
“Need a political offensive”
According to Rau, the excessive demands on young people should not be underestimated: “I believe that this constant negative news regarding the economic situation cannot be properly classified by a young person. We adults find it difficult to assess what the effects of the pandemic will be. ”Therefore, she can imagine that many school leavers are currently waiting a bit and watching how the market develops before they make a decision:“ The young people have had completely different problems, the here and now being their greatest concern: they could not see their friends and their parents could get sick. They don’t think about what will be in five years. “
But schools, parents and companies also have to be active, Rau believes: “Now is the right time to show the school leavers a path after all this negative time and to say: There are really great opportunities, take advantage of them and get away with it your couching and homeschooling. ”According to Rau, the schools are responsible for arranging contacts and reassuring the students to take care of the time after graduation. Parents have to inform their children about possible ways and try not to pass their own insecurity onto the children. And the companies should also be vigilant, get actively involved and present their job description. Mangold also sees politics as having an obligation to make it clear that the industries are future-proof despite the corona-related restrictions: “We now need a political offensive so that it becomes clear that we are the victims of the pandemic and that our industries are not insecure . “
Although the pandemic-related shortage of apprentices for companies can endanger the next generation of skilled workers in the long term, Rau currently sees no serious cause for concern: “Of course, the top priority is always to secure the next generation, and Corona has now broken through a bit. But I think that if it’s only been a year you can cope with it. ”It is important, however, to keep an eye on developments and deal with them. In addition, Rau and Mangold are convinced that other interested parties will come forward: “There will certainly still be last-minute applications.”