ATAt the beginning of September, many young people return to school. Others began in August. However, by far not all trainees find a suitable job nearby. Travel is already a problem for young professionals because distance is a growing problem, especially in rural areas. As many trainees are still too young to get their driver's license and their own car – or can not afford or want a car.
"The accessibility of training companies is a major topic for trainees in the craft sector, especially in rural areas," said Frank Zopp, spokesman for the Central Association of German crafts (ZDH). Public transport is often inadequate and the routes longer, with companies increasingly displaced to the suburbs. In addition, high rents in agglomerations contribute to long journeys. Where there is apprenticeship, trainees often find housing that is difficult to afford.
According to the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), trainees travel an average of 33 km in the Federated States of West Germany and 51 km in the states of East Germany. Every 25th trainee living in East Germany travels to the West. Trainees living in Berlin who do not work in the capital take a particularly long trip: they travel an average of 174 kilometers.
Most commuters are in the countryside in big cities
With the so-called commuter atlas of the Federal Employment Agency, it is possible to see exactly how far trainees can enter or leave all districts. Most commuters should be on the outskirts of big cities. According to the IAB, a good training venue attracts especially apprentices from outside, as well as Schwerin, Jena, Erfurt and Potsdam, especially in Bayreuth and Bamberg.
In addition, for some apprentices, access to the vocational school is more complex than for previous generations. Because some vocational schools close because of low demand. According to the Federal Statistical Office, there were more than 1,800 dual vocational schools in 1992, compared with just over 1,500 in 2017/18. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research estimates that there will be a fifth less professional students in 2035 than in 2009. The remaining trainees therefore still need to continue driving.
In some cases, there is even only one vocational school in Germany – currently, according to the Conference of Ministers of Education, for 29 professions. For example, all future audiologists will visit Lübeck, Gerber in Reutlingen, asphalt builders in Essen, toy manufacturers in Thuringian Sonneberg and beekeepers in Celle. According to the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), about 2,000 apprentices attend the federal subject classes.
Some professional aspirations can not be realized
Long journeys are not only a disadvantage, they have a profound effect. Employees of the employment agency in Bavaria find, according to their own information, that many school leavers prefer to change their career aspirations than to relocate. In the same way, some companies and regions comment: Sometimes apprenticeships can not be filled by long journeys and a lack of mobility.
Many training companies are looking for solutions. Some offer workhouses – similar to youth hostels in vocational schools. Other companies finance the driving license of their apprentices – at least with good performance and an appropriate age. For example, a chain of bakeries from the Emstal of Baden-Württemberg and one from Landshut, as well as a heating and plumbing company from Dresden and a chain of butchers from the Hanover area.
Other training companies organize carpool groups or subsidize bus and train tickets. Such a bakery chain in the Dusseldorf area, which relies heavily on alternative mobility. The Kreishandwerkerschaft in the Rhön-Grabfeld region near Hesse will be offering an electric car for a year in early September – the hardest to find.
Apprentice ticket similar to the semester ticket
For long distances up to the vocational high school, the Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks offers to digitally connect the premises with a decreasing number of students in larger venues in order to preserve them. According to the Ministry of Culture, students in certain professions in Bavaria can be educated together, such as butchers and butchers or retailers with merchants for wholesale trade and foreign trade.
The ZDH also considers that public financiers are responsible for guaranteeing rural public transport. It should not be reduced to the benefit of the most commonly used public transport systems in urban areas. "Barriers to mobility include, among other things, high ticket costs for apprentices," said ZDH spokesman. Until now, only six states had introduced a student ticket similar to the semester ticket for students.