The German government has signed a pact with German industry associations to offer thousands of new trainee jobs. Under the terms of the pact, German industry commits to providing an additional 30,000 apprenticeships annually by the year 2007. In addition, a further 25,000 work experience opportunities will be offered to youngsters trying to find a way in to the world of employment training. The costs will be absorbed by the federal labor office. In May, Germany's lower house of parliament had passed a law requiring companies to pay compensation for not offering apprenticeships. The opposition, which controls Germany's upper house, had opposed the plan.