Overline: Coal phase-out
Headline: Trainees Want a Greater Say in Lusatia’s Structural Transformation

How do trainees at the energy company LEAG view the structural transformation unfolding in Lusatia? What life paths and plans are they pursuing? Do they see their future in the region or further afield? What factors shape their thinking? And what kind of employment opportunities do they hope to see in the region? In a series of workshops, the trainees discussed these questions and developed a quantitative survey together with a team of researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS).

The results of the survey have now been published in the study “Auszubildende im Lausitzer Strukturwandel” [Trainees in Lusatia’s Structural Transformation]. The study addresses three thematic strands: Regional transformation, life planning, and good work.

How do trainees perceive the impacts of this transformation?

The majority of trainees are feeling the effects of the unfolding structural transformation. They are fundamentally satisfied with their everyday lives, and especially with their social environment. However, they are troubled by the lack of opportunities for young people to participate in political life and uncertainty around the future development of the labour market. They are sceptical about the process of structural transformation and its impact on the availability of good jobs and training opportunities and the stability of their social environment. They do not expect to see major changes in other areas and some even anticipate positive developments around the availability of further vocational training. Participation in public life, social clubs, and voluntary or charitable activities ranks among the most important anchors of stability for young people in the region.


Impacts and time horizons

What are trainees' life plans?

The social environment is an important retention factor for trainees and ranks alongside the availability of good jobs. 41 percent of the trainees indicate that opportunities for political participation would be important if they were to remain in the region. Half of the trainees could imagine leaving the region if political actors fail to address such important retention factors and needs.




What is “good work”?

While income and pensions are important aspects, job security, physical and mental well-being and the enjoyment of work were equally important or more important to the trainees. The majority of trainees believe that the structural transformation will either have a neutral or positive effect on the latter two factors. On the other hand, they are concerned that the transformation poses a threat to incomes and pensions as well as job security and experience this as a burden.

Self-efficacy and regional transformation

While some remain sceptical about the unfolding transformation, the vast majority of trainees feel that they are well equipped to deal with the challenges that it presents on an individual level.

Luh, V., Löw Beer, D. (2021): Auszubildende im Lausitzer Strukturwandel. Gute Arbeit, sichere Lebensplanung, regionale Verbundenheit. - IASS Study.