Germany's Education Minister Edelgard Bulmahn has sharply criticized German companies for what she calls a lack of training opportunities. In an interview with the Hanover-based newspaper
Neue Presse, she said there are approximately 500,000 companies in Germany that have the capacity to train new people, but that they aren't using this capacity. Bulmahn added that if just half of those companies opened up training positions, there would be more than enough opportunities out there for young Germans looking for a start in their careers. Bulmahn's remarks follow the release of statistics from the Federal Labor Office which reveal an extreme shortage of training positions. The current figures state that while 167,640 young people want a position, only 54,577 are available. Bulmahn said she expects to industry leaders to present some "convincing" solutions to the problem at an education conference to be held in early October.