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Logo: 2005 Carl Bertelsmann Prize

2005 Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Work and youth: Recognizing opportunities – Realizing potential


Fit for the workplace – Preparing young people for the working world

For young people today, the transition to an information society of the 21st century makes it particularly difficult to find an apprenticeship or job. The 2005 Carl Bertelsmann Prize is focusing on the topic of “Youth and work." In carrying out an international search for best practices, it is highlighting the growing importance of employability in ensuring society's long-term viability. Business, government and social leaders all need to face the challenge of helping young people develop their abilities and become the top performers of tomorrow. Helping them to effectively developing their potential will become a success factor for our national economy and the businesses operating within it.

From school into the workplace

Educational paths in a European comparison More than 500,000 young people in Germany are unemployed, and almost half of them did not complete a professional training program. Well over one-third of the young people in Germany worry about not finding a job or trainee position. These numbers are alarming—but even more alarming are the fates of the individuals behind the statistics. One look beyond Germany’s borders reveals that in many other countries as well, the transition from school to work is controversial and increasingly the subject of public debate. This observation was the starting point for the present publication, which provides an overview of the problems Germany faces in a European comparison and identifies the strategies other countries are implementing to solve these problems. The methodological approach of the present anthology is descriptive and structured to reflect the path that a young person takes from the classroom to the world of work. It first provides an analysis of the situation, followed by individual reports on the stages of secondary school, vocational training and post-secondary education. Target groups: policymakers and public administrators, trade associations, business leaders, education specialists, school administrators and staff.


Study: Young Germans are skeptical about their futures

Gütersloh, August 7, 2005. More than half of young Germans between the ages of 14 and 20 are skeptical (20 percent) or even pessimistic (42 percent) about their future career opportunities. This is the disturbing result of a representative survey conducted at the behest of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. According to the survey, the mood among young people is anything but hopeful: more than a third of young people (39 percent) are very concerned about not finding an apprenticeship or internship, and 34 percent fear slipping into unemployment later.


Education systems in Europe – A summary

Short descriptions of the institutions, characteristics and topics provide an insight into education systems throughout Europe, with a special emphasis on EU member states. It allows us to understand the experience and social context that define and evaluate education policy objectives as well as development tendencies.


Status: Germany as a business site 1/2005

In 2004, the Bertelsmann Stiftung premiered its International Business Site Ranking, which analyzes and compares labor market developments and economic growth in the top 21 industrialized nations. Updated twice yearly, the German Site Check builds on the results of this study, focusing on a specific current, critical issue. In keeping with the topic of this year’s Carl Bertelsmann Prize, the focus of the first 2005 German Site Check is youth unemployment. The study presents the latest statistics and developments, as well as the causes of and possible strategies for improving the employment situation of young people in Germany.


Clemens Wieland Clemens Wieland
+49 5241 81-81352
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