2.5 million young people without professional qualifications

Good morning, dear readers,

because they don’t really know what they’re doing: The number of young adults in the 20-34 age group who do not have a professional qualification has risen above the 2.5 million mark – or 17 percent – ​​for the first time.

This emerges from the draft for the new vocational training report, which is available to the Handelsblatt. Anyone who is still studying or is doing an apprenticeship is not counted among the unskilled. Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) rightly sees the rising number of young people without professional qualifications as a warning sign: “To ensure that the shortage of skilled workers does not slow down growth, we must pull out all the stops.”

Above all, he relies on the further training law, the draft of which the cabinet passed at the end of March. In it, the traffic light coalition introduces a new training guarantee. Anyone who cannot find a training place in a company should be entitled to inter-company training.


The truth is that immigration and refugee migration also have an impact on the high number of unskilled workers. Almost a fifth of the 20 to 34-year-olds who were not born and grew up in Germany have no training recognized here. In the case of peers without a migration background, this only applies to every tenth. Stop letting young migrants slip through the net of education and training: that could be more targeted than “pulling out all the stops”.

According to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the EU ambassador to Sudan was attacked in his own residence. The EU will be represented in the north-east African country by Irish diplomat Aidan O’Hara. Diplomatic circles said in Brussels that evening that O’Hara was fine and had not been injured.

Shortly before, Borrell had announced that the EU was working on convincing both sides of a humanitarian ceasefire in view of the heavy fighting in Sudan.

The long-simmering power struggle between the army under the command of ruler Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy Mohammed Hamdan Daglo escalated over the weekend. At least 185 people were killed and 1,800 injured in the fighting, according to the United Nations on Monday. You can read the most important questions and answers about the outbreak of violence in Sudan here.

TeslaCEO Elon Musk wants to found a new AI company to compete with ChatGPT operator OpenAI. “I’m going to launch something I’m calling ‘TruthGPT,’ a maximal truth-seeking artificial intelligence that’s trying to understand the nature of the universe,” Musk said, according to pre-release excerpts from an interview with Fox News.

BYD Seal at a car show: The Chinese group sold around 13,000 vehicles more than VW in the first quarter of the year.

(Photo: IMAGO/Sebastian Geisler)

Volkswagen has lost its supremacy in the world’s largest car market, China. For the first time since the 1980s, the core brand VW is no longer number one in terms of sales in the People’s Republic. The new market leader is called BYD. This is shown by figures from the data service provider Marklines and current insurance data from China, which is available to the Handelsblatt.

Accordingly, BYD sold around 441,000 vehicles from January to March. This corresponds to an increase of 68 percent compared to the previous year. Deliveries by VW, on the other hand, shrank by 14 percent to 428,000 cars. If this trend continues, VW is threatened with massive underutilization of its more than three dozen plants in the People’s Republic.

Fabian Brandt, head of the automotive division at the management consultancy Oliver Wyman: “We are experiencing a historic change. The longstanding dominance of western manufacturers is fading in favor of local champions.”

The main reason for the weakness of VW and the other German manufacturers in China: failed model policy. Sales of electric cars and vehicles with plug-in hybrid drives are growing in the Chinese car market. In these two segments, however, the German manufacturers hardly play a role. They only hold their market shares in the combustion engine market. Sales there fell from 18.4 to 15.4 million vehicles.

CDU party leader Friedrich Merz: In the grand coalition, the Christian Democrats had categorically ruled out tax increases. Now the position seems to be changing.

The CDU is also struggling with a failed model policy – ​​namely in inheritance tax. The tax model, which was jointly decided under government responsibility of the Union, allows that even corporate assets worth billions can be passed on to the generation of heirs tax-free under certain conditions. An internal CDU commission under ex-minister Jens Spahn is now criticizing the existing regulation as “too complicated, bureaucratic and prone to abusive tax structuring”.

Instead, the Commission wants to switch to “a uniform low inheritance tax rate of ten percent”. There should be personal allowances that apply equally to all inheritances.

These proposals are to be included in the party’s new policy statement. The paper by the Spahn Commission is still a working draft. The direction was agreed with party leader Friedrich Merz, it said within the union.

Nothing ever came of Merz’ idea of ​​an “income tax return on the beer coaster”. Who knows, maybe Merz will now enforce the inheritance tax return on the beer coaster?

The Spahn Commission is also calling for a rethink on another tax issue: A higher income tax rate for top earners should no longer be taboo for the CDU – if the solidarity surcharge is completely eliminated and the current top tax rate of 42 percent only takes effect later.

My prognosis: At the next annual reception of the Foundation for Family Businesses there will be no thunderous applause for either project.

Do you remember Bric, Gafa and Faang? The tendency of bankers and stockbrokers to cover supposedly lucrative investment goals with handy abbreviations has a long tradition.

If it was due to the lack of catchy acronyms that the European stock market usually lags behind the American one, then that could change now: Under the abbreviation Granolas, the US investment bank Goldman Sachs summarizes eleven European quality stocks that are said to hold their own particularly well in the shaky economic environment. And anyone who now remarks that granolas only has eight letters has taken good care. SAP has to share the “S” with Sanofi, Nestlé the “N” with Novartis and Novo Nordisk – pressure to save everywhere.

I wish you a day full of Eidalus – fulfillment at work, joie de vivre and sunshine.

Best regards

Your Christian Rickens

Editor-in-Chief Handelsblatt

PS: President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform has been causing turmoil in France for months. He signed the controversial law on Saturday. Among other things, the retirement age will be gradually raised from 62 to 64 years. How do you view the conflict surrounding the reform? What reforms would you like to see in the German pension system? Are you worried about whether you will still be in good financial shape when you retire? Write us your opinion in five sentences [email protected]. We will publish selected articles with attribution on Thursday in print and online.

Morning Briefing: Alexa

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