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Study: Percentage of young people without qualifications has been stagnating for years

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People without a degree often end up in precarious jobs – and are missing skilled workers. Particularly vulnerable groups: boys, foreigners, special needs students. Not much has happened lately.

Year after year, tens of thousands of young people finish their schooling without having at least a secondary school diploma in their pockets. Although some federal states have made progress, the proportion of school leavers without a degree has stagnated at around six percent for years.

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This emerges from a study by education researcher Klaus Klemm on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation, which was published on Monday. “In view of the growing shortage of skilled workers, our society cannot afford to let these people fall through the cracks,” Klemm is quoted as saying by the foundation.

Migrants particularly at risk

The educational researcher made a ten-year comparison from 2011 to 2021 – more recent data was therefore not available when the study was created. In 2021, around 47,500 schoolchildren ended up without a secondary school certificate, which corresponds to a share of 6.2 percent. In 2011 it was 6.1 percent. By 2013, the rate had fallen to 5.7 percent, since then it has risen again – except for a “break” in 2020, which, according to the study, is due to a “restrained approach to school performance” during the stressful pandemic.

Boys and adolescents with foreign nationality are therefore particularly at risk. According to the study, as of 2020, girls accounted for only 38 percent of school leavers without a degree. In the group of foreigners, the rate of graduates without a degree in 2020 was 13.4 percent, and among Germans it was 4.6 percent. In 2020, 49 percent of all young people without a degree were at a special needs school, 20 percent at a comprehensive school, and 13 percent at a secondary school.

Some federal states were able to reduce their comparatively high rates during the period under study, such as Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (from 13.3 to 8.1 percent), Saxony-Anhalt (from 12.1 to 9.6 percent) and Berlin (from 9.7 to 6.7 percent). In Bremen, on the other hand, it increased, where the rate was the highest at 10.0 percent in 2021. In Baden-Württemberg (5.8 percent), Hesse (5.3) and Bavaria (5.1) the proportion was lowest in 2021.

Precarious employment relationships

People without qualifications have a higher risk of ending up in precarious jobs. According to the study, many of the current graduates without a degree are in danger of joining the approximately 1.7 million young adults aged 20 to 30 without training who were living in Germany as of 2021.

In view of the “frighteningly high numbers”, measures to reduce the quota are indispensable, and the focus of efforts should be on boys and schoolchildren with a migration background, according to the study.

The Bertelsmann Foundation also recommended documenting the skills that the young people have learned in addition to the classic diploma: This would increase the chance of an apprenticeship even without a formal qualification. Another lever is the training guarantee. The traffic light parties have anchored this in their coalition agreement.

Source: Stern

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