The number of unfilled training positions in Germany has increased for the fourth year in a row. According to the federal government’s current vocational training report, a total of 73,400 places for trainees remained unfilled last year – another 6.6 percent more than in 2022.

The gap is even clearer compared to times before the corona pandemic: the number of unfilled positions has increased by 38.2 percent since 2019, as can be seen from the report discussed by the Federal Cabinet. Last year there were also 26,400 applicants who would have liked to start training but were left unprovided. That was 16.3 percent more than in the previous year 2022 and 7.6 percent more than 2019.

Differences in supply and demand

“We have a problem of matching between applicants and the positions offered on the market,” said Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger in Berlin. The minister emphasized that a central goal of the federal government is to get more young people into training.

One aspect that Stark-Watzinger highlighted as positive is the number of newly concluded training contracts. This rose by three percent last year to a total of 489,200. According to the report, there was an increase across almost all sectors.

Where are there good chances of getting a training position?

With regard to the many unfilled training positions, there are clear differences depending on the region and profession. According to the report, companies find it particularly difficult to fill trainee positions in the food trade, the hotel and restaurant industry, as well as in the construction and metal trades, among others. Conversely, applicants here have a particularly good chance of finding a training place. On the other hand, interested parties would have fewer opportunities in the real estate industry, software development, horticulture and artistic and creative professions.

There are also big regional differences: According to the report, trainee candidates in Berlin, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia have a harder time than in other regions. In mathematical terms, applicants have the best chances in Bavaria and Thuringia, followed by Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.