The number of open apprenticeship positions has reached an all-time high. Which sectors are especially suffering, where companies should be looking for newcomers, and what Generation Z expects for their working life are revealed here.
Many apprenticeship positions remain unfilled
Germany’s medium-sized enterprises are increasingly facing the problem of filling apprenticeship positions. Even major corporations, which normally lure apprentices with prospects of higher wages, are finding it difficult to find adequate personnel. According to the German Federal Employment Agency (German), about 69,000 apprenticeship positions remained open in 2022 – an increase of 6,000 positions compared to the previous year. This means that for 100 company-based apprenticeship jobs registered with the agency, there were only 80 potential candidates with the agency to fill them.
Small and medium-sized enterprises from the foods industry are particularly affected, along with the hairstylist trade, the hotel and hospitality sector, the construction industry and industries close to construction, as well as the metals industry. The public service sector, in contrast, is hardly affected at all, as specialists consider it to be a secure employer.
Instagram & friends: here is where SMEs have to appear
The teenagers and young adults in 2023, who are particularly addressed when it comes to apprenticeships, are the so-called Generation Z, or Gen Z. These are persons born between the years 1997 and 2012, and they are the first generation which has grown up completely with digital technologies. To reach these potential apprentices, companies have to be present on channels other than those used for previous generations.
Newspapers and magazines are hardly consumed anymore – the majority of Gen Z gets their information from social media. They expect their future employer to also appear here. Company profiles on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are obligatory, but particularly the use of Snapchat and TikTok is what makes Gen Z different from previous generations.
To meet the needs of Gen Z, it is no longer enough to simply describe the apprenticeship position and the company. The teenagers and young adults want to gain a lasting impression through photos and videos.
Once the interest of Digital Natives has been piqued, they will sooner or later visit the website of the company with apprenticeships on offer. Here, too, is where an own subpage should focus on career topics, which, ideally, leads to a simple and inviting application process – naturally optimised for mobile end devices.
Classic job websites no longer play a significant role amongst members of Gen Z, but they should not be neglected despite this. What is becoming more and more important are companies’ own recruiting events or online career trade fairs.
Expectations from apprenticeships: what’s important to Gen Z
Many members of Gen Z are not necessarily first and foremost looking for fulfilment at work, but mainly during their leisure time and through a high number of social contacts. This is something companies should keep in mind when formulating the ad and apprenticeship opportunities – to address as many potential apprentices as possible. This includes, above all, flexible working hours and locations, as well as interesting employee perks such as further training, which go beyond just an attractive salary.
An additional important point: unlike previous generations, Gen Z would like to work for a company that is conscious of its responsible to a much larger extent. The apprenticeship should have a higher goal – a lot of value is placed on aspects such as sustainability. Therefore, in job ads, the company culture and its purpose should play a role.
The teamwork within the job is also an essential factor for Generation Z. Aspects such as solidarity, working atmosphere and fun at work take a higher priority than the chance to move up the career ladder in the company.