There has been an imbalance in the training market for a long time. Prospects for training narrowed; young people’s fears about the future are increasing. In addition, the corona crisis is hitting the labor market hard. For many young people, the prospect of an apprenticeship has been tiring since the outbreak of the pandemic, with some having the opportunity to voice their concerns and needs, others not. Image source: © Giulio_Fornasar for fotolia.com
Fear of the future in times of Corona
During the coronavirus crisis, many young people feel that politicians are almost oblivious to their needs and concerns. But how are young people actually doing in these difficult times, when everyday life is determined by fears about the future? How do you see your professional future and what are your assessments? Since the pandemic, various statistics, surveys and forecasts of the evolution of corporate training opportunities have been published. Despite the difficult circumstances of the coronavirus crisis, there are companies that can make training offers with state support possible. Our young people are the professionals and contributors of tomorrow and an important part of the positive development of our society, but what can education policy do so that young people are not considered a “lost generation”? The future and trends in the future world of work are decided by the next generation. Will they go to college? Get professional training? Do you look back with satisfaction on the training options and opportunities presented to them? Or frustrated looking for alternatives? One thing is clear: when it comes to educational opportunities, it’s all about the future!
To get closer to the answers to these open questions, a study was conducted with the aim of capturing the well-being and mood of young people before the start of the training year. Research and studies were carried out under great time pressure, as the pandemic is characterized by constantly changing conditions. A heterogeneous target group of 1700 students between the ages of 14 and 20 was investigated. The respondents are pupils, trainees, students, interns, etc., who are at very different stations and on very different journeys in the transition process. 1150 students were interviewed online, of which 150 were high school students in the form of a questionnaire, the other part in person.
Training prospects shaped by fears
Many young people’s prospects for training are characterized by fears about the future. Despite the high interest in studying after high school, the career path is attractive for many. The results of the studies show that young people are at least as interested in training as they are in studying. However, many young people are still undecided about what direction they should take in the future. However, respondents showed a high level of satisfaction with their choice of apprenticeship as 60% followed their dream job and were extremely satisfied with their career choice. In the case of young people with low education, satisfaction is up to 72%. 64% of young people have a job they really enjoy. The majority of respondents are even quite sure that they will be able to start a safe and stable job after completing their training or studies. These results show particularly clearly that young people continue to see great potential in vocational training. However, the impact of the corona crisis has also created deeper insecurity about their educational opportunities, which has already developed during the Abitur. Young people who want to study have much less worries and concerns than young people with training plans. A big warning sign for education policy.
Change creates uncertainty
The media, which deals with the topic of filling and matching problems and emotionalises them through framing, rather than encouraging confidence and optimism, creates further uncertainty about the prospects for training. Because if you want to do an apprenticeship, you should get one! In addition, most training positions now require a general university entry qualification. In particular, young people with less education or without a high school diploma have their hands tied when it comes to finding an apprenticeship because they have no chance of finding a career that fulfills them. A third of those surveyed are worried that there are not enough training places for them to start a job that fulfills them. In the case of young people with a low level of schooling, a full 44% fear worse opportunities on the vocational training market. From the perspective of young people, important clues can be found in this survey. Many young people would like more targeted and individual support in the process of finding a place for training. However, at 61%, more than half of those surveyed are pessimistic about the chances of getting an apprenticeship during the coronavirus crisis. However, it is different when studying; only a quarter of those surveyed fear worse chances of getting a place at university.
personal future mood picture
Despite the serious impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the impact of the crisis does not seem to have had a major impact on the personal future of the majority of respondents. Despite the difficult circumstances, 63% are still optimistic about the future when it comes to job, school or training prospects.
However, Corona has ruined the plans of some young people as well. Employment contracts or planned stays abroad could not be terminated in recent months. Many young people not only had to find a way to deal with their worries, but also with the impacts and concerns of those around them. Half of the respondents had to witness how the crisis brought acquaintances, relatives and friends into professional difficulties. Concerns and impacts were particularly widespread among young people with little schooling. This influence, which is associated with negative experiences, could be one of the reasons why this social group is particularly concerned about its future prospects.
Create training perspectives
In addition, there is a great desire to be heard and recognized in education policy. Half of those surveyed believe that education policy is sparing no effort to improve training prospects for young people. 30% see some commitment, but perceive it as insufficient. Many young people would like to have the education guarantee model that Austria offers, where every young person has a chance to get a place regardless of the economic situation, crises and economic fluctuations.
The Bertelsmann Foundation concluded that it is the responsibility of education policy to show the prospects for the future and guarantee every young person an apprenticeship. Regardless of the period of crisis, it is important to provide young people with security and prospects and, where necessary, compensate for the lack of training places.
You can find the complete study and your supporters on the website Bertelsmann Foundation.
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