Vocational Training of young people with disabilities - a representative company survey
In February 2009, Germany signed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In doing so, Germany undertook to guarantee the inclusiveness of the education system at all levels. Thus far, compliance efforts have focused largely on the general education system. In the area of vocational training, by contrast, discussions on improving inclusiveness are just getting underway. Problems begin with the lack of clarity in the available data, as there is no clear picture of how many young people with disabilities seek vocational training after leaving school.
Efforts to ensure inclusion in vocational education will make progress only if companies become increasingly involved, giving more young people with disabilities the opportunity to complete regular vocational training. However, too little is still known about companies’ experiences providing apprenticeships for young people with disabilities. Against this background, the present survey examines companies’ ongoing experiences providing vocational training to young people with disabilities, as well as with the state support services offered in this area.
A total of 1,011 companies eligible to provide vocational training were surveyed, forming a representative sample based on company size and regional (east/west) criteria. About a quarter (24.1 percent) of these companies are currently training young people with disabilities or have done so in the past five years. Another 45 percent of the surveyed companies are providing or in the last five years have provided vocational training, but not for disabled young people. Experience providing vocational training for young people with disabilities varies strongly with the size of the company. While only about 21 percent of companies with nine employees or fewer have experience in providing apprenticeships to young people with disabilities, this figure rises to 85 percent among companies with more than 500 employees.
In explaining why they do not include young people with disabilities in their vocational training programs, a large majority (87 percent) of companies say they have received no such applications for their apprenticeships. A majority of companies (67 percent) also cite the high demands of the profession or work activity as an additional hurdle.