Government, industry agree on trainee pact

17th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 June 2004, BERLIN - Ending weeks of dispute, German governmental leaders and representatives of industry have reached an agreement on a federal programme for hiring trainees.

17 June 2004

BERLIN - Ending weeks of dispute, German governmental leaders and representatives of industry have reached an agreement on a federal programme for hiring trainees.

The agreement sets mandatory goals for recruiting an average 30,000 new trainees annually.

The terms of the accord will be drafted in legislation that now faces an uphill battle both in the Bundestag lower house of parliament and in the Bundesrat upper house which is controlled by opposition conservatives who oppose the mandatory guidelines.

Initially, the centre-left coalition government of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder proposed legislation that would require all large businesses and corporations to implement trainee programmes in a bid to reduce unemployment.

That legislation included fines for companies that failed to have trainee programmes for unskilled young workers.

Many companies raised objections, among them Lufthansa German Airlines. The national carrier argued that it would face fines because it technically has no "trainee programme" despite the fact that it rigorously trains pilots, flight attendants, ground crews and ticket counter personnel.

The compromise includes wording broad enough to allow such companies to avoid strictures for failing to hire unskilled trainees.

DPA

Subject: German news

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