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News Overview 2014

Same Qualification - Unequal Opportunities

When applying for an apprenticeship, young people with a migrant background have poorer prospects, even if they hold the same qualifications. They have to send off many more applications to be invited for an interview compared to candidates without a migrant background. The study of the SVR Research Unit used a correspondence test to prove for the first time that there is still no guarantee of non-discriminatory access to dual-system training in Germany.

For the study, applications were sent to around 1,800 companies across Germany for two professional positions that require training: a car mechatronics technician and an office management assistant. In each case, two applications were sent from equally well-qualified male candidates – one with a Turkish name and one with a German name. An evaluation of the response to the fictitious applications showed that to receive an invitation to interview, a candidate with a German name must write an average of five applications, whereas the figure for an applicant with a Turkish name is seven. For an apprenticeship in automotive mechatronics, the level of discrimination is even more pronounced.

"Wherever there is discrimination, companies that offer training are losing out on suitable candidates," said Dr. Jan Schneider, head of the SVR Research Unit and author of the study. "In the medium term, this could threaten the existence of a secure skills base." But the consequences for individuals can also be problematic and very serious in terms of integration. "If young people with a migrant background receive repeated rejections whenever they submit an application, this can lead to resignation and tendencies of withdrawal," Schneider adds.

In order to prevent discrimination and to create equal opportunities on the training market, the SVR Research Unit has developed a series of recommendations.

Picture Gallery

Photos: David Ausserhofer/SVR
Aydan Özoguz, Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery and Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration in Germany, Dr. Hannes Schammann, Robert Bosch Stiftung, and Rolf-Dieter Schnelle, SVR
Aydan Özoguz, Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery and Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration in Germany
Berlin Representative Office of the Robert Bosch Stiftung