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Along with school networks the VDMA promote technical professions


16 Mar 2022



Thousands of attractive apprenticeship positions are unfilled in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. The virtual trade fair of the VDMA – TechTalents – connects pupils with companies, universities and school networks.

The biggest challenge of the medium-sized industry is the shortage of skilled workers in technical professions. 

One of the biggest challenges which the medium-sized industry faces is the shortage of skilled workers in technical professions. So, this is why the school networks MINT-EC, SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT Deutschland, and Berufswahl-SIEGEL join forces with the VDMA. Together the institutions organize the second TechTalents – the new generation fair – on 4th an 5th May 2022. The aim of the online event is to get more young people interested in technical professions. After all, German industry needs well-qualified young people to ensure its competitiveness in the long term. "Major issues, such as the climate crisis, can only be tackled through innovative technical solutions. We therefore need well-trained professional and academic young technicians," says Jörg Friedrich, Head of VDMA Education, "but our companies suffer more and more every year from the growing shortage of skilled workers."

The shortage of skilled workers is increasing
In the last training year (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021), nearly 8,000 of more than 90,000 training positions offered in mechanical engineering-related professions remained unfilled. The number of first-year students in engineering-related core subjects also fell to just under 98,000 in the 2021 examination year (winter semester 20/21 and summer semester 21) after a decline of 9 percent (Federal Statistical Office). Demographic trends are widening the skills gap even further.

The construction of an egg slingshot
Exciting insights into courses of study and apprenticeships await students from high schools, junior high schools and secondary schools. The program includes practical career and study information, exciting inputs on the future of technology and virtual workshops to participate in. Among them, many contributions such as "The Egg Slingshot - Methodical Designing" or "Hack the Box" invite young people to participate.

This expressly addresses not only STEM high-flyers and budding engineers. "On the second afternoon, with a special program, we are taking a particular look at schoolchildren who are not aiming to go to university. Together with the committed exhibitors, we want to show young people what prospects the world of technology offers them ", explains Yvonne Kohlmann, Managing Director of SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT Deutschland.

Together for more technology orientation already in schools
TechTalents is conceived as large virtual meeting for occupation and study orientation for MINT-interested pupils and teachers. In addition to the extensive program, around 60 universities and 40 technology employers present themselves and answer questions from young people with the help of trainees and students. In addition, the online platform offers information, contacts and job vacancies from a total of over 1,000 technology employers throughout Germany.

The platform is aimed at students from all general education schools and advertises both technical apprenticeships and technical courses of study. "Technology is ubiquitous for young people, but they often lack first-hand information and guidance," comments Dr. Niki Sarantidou Managing Director MINT EC. "In addition, career and study orientation in schools has suffered greatly due to contact restrictions during Corona. This is exactly where we want to support with TechTalents."

Climate crisis, environmental topics and personal life planning
Many of the inputs offered to young people address the climate crisis or environmental topics: Energy transition, electromobility, microplastics or recycling. Technical solutions are discussed and provocative questions raised, such as electric cars in winter - drive or freeze? Behind everything is the firm conviction that there is no better time to choose a technical profession if you want to take action against the climate crisis.

In addition, it is also about practical support for personal planning for the future. Thus, discussion rounds are held on topics such as: "What does one actually do as an engineer?" or "How do I find the right course of study?" are offered. Apprentices, dual students or young engineering career starters are always present. This ensures authentic communication at eye level with the students.

Teachers are also considered
There is also an informative program for teachers. They are the first port of call for students' career and study orientation. TechTalents wants to introduce them to apprenticeships and courses of study in the field of technology. This enables teachers to better assess which career paths might be suitable for which students.

About the VDMA
The VDMA represents more than 3400 German and European mechanical and plant engineering companies. The industry stands for innovation, export orientation and medium-sized companies. The companies employ around four million people in Europe, more than one million of them in Germany alone. Mechanical and plant engineering represents a European sales volume of around 800 billion euros. In the manufacturing sector as a whole, it contributes the highest share of European gross domestic product with value added of around 270 billion euros .

MINT-EC is the national excellence network of schools with upper secondary education and a distinctive profile in mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology (MINT). The network, which currently has 332 certified schools with around 353,000 students and 29,000 teachers, has been under the patronage of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder (KMK) since 2009. The main sponsors of MINT-EC are the employers' association Gesamtmetall as part of the think ING. initiative, as well as the Siemens Foundation and the Bavarian employers' associations bayme vbm and vbw.

We are the network for partnership-based cooperation between schools and business - regionally anchored, networked nationwide. The work in the network lives from a broad honorary commitment, which is supported by full-time offices on state and federal level. At the national level, SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT is supported by the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA) and the Institute of the German Economy (IW).

About network Berufswahl-SIEGEL
The Berufswahl-SIEGEL is a certification process that honors schools in many regions for their exemplary vocational orientation. In the meantime, 1,646 schools have been certified. SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT Deutschland is the sponsor of the national network, and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs supports the SIEGEL as patron.

Link to online trade show
Link to VDMA Education: