Supply and demand of apprenticeship places follows the market principle. Therefore the government monitors the developments on the training market and implements measures to support an adequate matching of supply and demand.

Supply and demand

The German vocational education and training system is considered as market-driven. The demand for apprenticeship placement stems from individuals interested in apprenticeship training and the supply stems from private and public companies offering apprenticeship placements. Supply and demand for apprenticeship placements depend upon many factors such as the overall development of the economy and the labour market, demographic trends, the region as well as the experiences with offering apprenticeship placements in previous years. 

Monitoring developments

The development of the vocational education and training market is monitored by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and the German Institute for Employment Research (IAB, associated with the Federal Employment Agency in the processing of data on the labour market and VET market developments). These institutions cooperate especially in the field of sectoral forecast studies, regional studies or needs analysis by professions. The data collection feeds into the annual Vocational Education and Training Report of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as well as the annual VET data report by BIBB. BIBB participates in the compilation of the Vocational Education and Training Statistics of the Federal Statistical Office. The reports and the data provide evidence for all main decision-making processes by competent authorities on VET and apprenticeship at Federal level. Examples are the elaboration of vocational training regulations and the development of Federal VET programmes to foster the dual apprenticeship system. 

Update and creation of training regulations

The update and creation of new Federal training regulations can also be considered as part of the matching process since this activity mirrors the need of economic actors for manpower in given professions and the requirement to design VET professions aligned with the requirements of the companies (see section on Developing Qualifications.

Measures to improve matching

The apprenticeship system in Germany is negatively impacted by mismatches between supply and demand at the regional level and for specific VET professions. An efficient match of supply and demand of apprenticeship places is a shared task by all VET actors as defined in the national pact for VET (since 2015 alliance). It is implemented through initiatives taken at federal level (such as JOBSTARTER or educational chain initiative), and at the level of the Länder as well as through self-commitments of the employers. Further remedial and preventive measures to ensure an optimal match are undertaken by actors such as chambers of commerce and industry, chambers of crafts, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (see section on VET excellence and attractiveness). An important issue in this regard is the fostering of the mobility of future apprentices.