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Poverty in Germany on the Rise


As a country that focuses on eradicating global issues such as hunger and poverty, we must make as many people as possible aware of our efforts, and where these issues occur. Recently, it has been reported that poverty in Germany is on the rise. Although we do not always associate Western European countries with poverty, poverty has become a global issue, affecting all types of people.

Around one-fifth of German youth live in poverty. Poverty among young Germans is on the rise due to lack of proper education and vocational training. According to Simon Rapp, Chairman of the Federal Association for Catholic Youth Welfare (BAG-KJS), “this poverty occurs due to the absence of equal opportunities in the German education system, which often results in young people being excluded from society.”

In addition, “German youths have been having an increasingly hard time” finding a job, due to the lack of educative opportunities.”

According to a study from the Bremen Institute for Workplace Research and Career Support, around 220,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 live in households dependent on Hartz IV state welfare. Around 90 percent have reported that they have never received vocational training or had access to education. In Berlin alone, 20 percent of the youths are dependent on welfare and unemployment benefits.

To make everything clearer, a study from the Hans-Böckler Foundation estimated that 18.9 percent of young people live in poverty in Germany. Thanks to the study, German officials have calculated that more than 2.5 million children and young people are poor.

To make matters worse, poverty among German youths is expected to increase. Lack of proper education, vocational training and unemployment is expected to rise for Germans within the coming years. According to The Local, a study by German officials found that for young people aged 15 to 24, education played a key role in which youngsters would end up in poverty. Moreover, the study found that teenagers with leaving certificates from Hauptschule schools were “the lowest rung on the academically-tiered German school system, or those who drop out early.”

Education is the best protection against poverty. The question is, how can we help German youths access education?

 — Stephanie Olaya

Sources: The Local, WSWS
Photo: The Spiegel