Sunday, August 26, 2007

What happened to that educational mandate?

In Germany, when you finish school, you are obliged to either study further or undergo vocational training. Up till now, the government has been bemoaning the fact that companies are not providing enough apprenticeship places to fulfil this need. Well now, it seems, according to a recent survey, this is no longer an issue. The places are there - the problem is that the current crop of school-leavers don't have the necessary abilities to fill them.

The Bonn /Rhein Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce sent a survey out to 2000 companies and over 70% of the respondents stated that the applicants lacked the education necessary to fill all the places which they would be willing to offer. Many of the companies surveyed were unhappy not just with the applicants' academic abilities, but also with their social skills. They bemoaned the applicants' written and spoken expression (76%), mastery of elementary math (57%), their willingness to perform and their motivation (54%), their discipline (46%) and their ability to work under pressure (44%).

Wow! More than half of these school-leavers don't have the education necessary to undergo vocational training. And half of them are lacking in basic social skills. And here I thought that it was part of the German school system's educational mandate to produce "responsible citizens who are able to participate in the democratic processes of a pluralistic society"?

No comments: