Brussels, 07 May 2004
German Minister for Education and Research, Edelgard Bulmahn, has launched her country's 'apprenticeship offensive 2004', saying that she sees particular potential for apprenticeships in the growth areas of microsystems technology, nanotechnology and biotechnology.
The government intends to target regions where the difference between the number of apprenticeships available and local demand is the highest, as well as those regions which have cut their number of apprenticeships by a higher than average number.
Ms Bulmahn underlined the urgency of the situation, referring to the growing demand for skilled workers and technicians: 'The experts have all agreed that, without effective efforts in the area of training, by the year 2015, in the age group 35 to 45, we will have a shortage of 3.5 million skilled workers.'
Initiatives aimed at those who are not yet ready to take up an apprenticeship, such as disadvantaged young people and immigrants, will also be implemented. In view of the ageing population, all talent reserves in the younger generation must be used carefully, said Ms Bulmahn.
For further information on the 'apprenticeship offensive', please visit: