Education Committee: First-year students, junior staff concept, need for skilled workers

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The Education Committee met online on 11/23/2020 to discuss the current state of higher education.

The number of applicants as well as the number of first-year students in Bachelor's degree programmes in landscape architecture has increased significantly in the winter semester 2020/2021 compared to the previous year. It is assumed that many high school graduates who had actually planned to spend time abroad, do internships or social engagements after graduation had to forego them due to the Corona pandemic. Instead, they went straight to university. Meanwhile, teaching at universities takes place in hybrid form, i.e. a mixture of face-to-face and online courses.

The bdla's concept for young professionals was also discussed. The committee suggested considering the possibility of awarding Germany scholarships by the association or individual planning offices. The scholarship holders receive 300 euros per month, half of which is paid by the federal government and half by the private sector. The sponsoring companies can support students in a subject area of their choice and present themselves as attractive employers.

Initial results of the bdla survey on the need for skilled workers and on vacancies in planning offices, which was carried out between 22 September and 1 November 2020, were also discussed. Even if the results are not representative, it is clear how urgently more graduates are needed in landscape architecture: Nine out of ten planning offices had difficulties filling vacancies in the last twelve months or were unable to fill them at all.

It is also interesting to note that offices with a landscape architecture university within a radius of 100 km apparently have an easier time recruiting staff than offices without such a university in their vicinity. Just under a third of the offices in the former group say that they have not been able to fill most of their vacancies; the figure for the latter group is almost twice as high, at 60 per cent. This speaks clearly for the demand of the bdla to establish an increase in study places and offers straight also in conurbations with a multiplicity of planning offices concerned.

Source: bdla association magazine "Landschaftsarchitekten" 1/2021

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