The number of apprenticeship contract fell significantly in the year 2008. According to preliminary calculations by the Federal Statistical Office, in the year 2008 about 610,800 new apprenticeship contracts were closed in Germany which were 2.1% or 13,100 contracts less than in the year 2007. In particular in the east of Germany and Berlin the number of new apprenticeship contracts fell significantly.
Even though many apprenticeship contracts are supported by the state in the east of Germany, the number of new contracts there fell by 10.8 % (-13,600) as compared to the year 2007. In the old Federal states the number of new apprenticeship contracts increased by 0.1 % (+500).
In the field of industry and commerce (which comprises apprenticeships in banks, insurance companies as well as in restaurant and transport businesses) the number of new contracts decreased by 0.2 % (-600) as compared to the previous year. In the handycraft business which is the second most important field providing apprenticeships the number of new contracts fell by 5.0 % (-8,800).
In total, as of 31st of December 2008 there were about 1.6 million apprentices in the so-called dual system which was an increase by 1.1 % (+16,800) in comparison with the previous year. In the west of Germany the number of apprentices increased by 2.4 % (+30,900), in the east it fell by 4.3 % (-14.100).