In Global Demand: Vocational Training in Germany

In Global Demand: Vocational Training in Germany

What a great feeling: You’ve finished school, now you are free and can decide what to do next. Lots of young people in Germany opt for a vocational training programme at this stage in their lives. Maybe this is also exactly what you are looking for. Trained specialists are urgently needed in Germany, which is why numerous companies are currently looking for young, enthusiastic people from abroad.
by Clara Görtz

Simplified entry

The labour market has developed well in recent years – Germany has the lowest rate of youth unemployment in the European Union. If you are an EU citizen, you don’t need to worry about entry conditions and residence permits at all, because you can move around freely within the EU. And for people from so-called third countries it has also become easier to work in Germany.

The German job market is very diverse – you are sure to find a training program that suits you perfectly. There are more than 350 recognized professions requiring vocational training in Germany. Visit this website to get an overview; you will also find the official names of the occupations here.

Dual training a success factor

The dual training program, which combines theory and practice, is a special feature of the range of options in Germany. Ever more countries are adopting it, because it is so successful. Numerous German firms have even established the dual training concept at their facilities abroad and as such, alongside their products, are busy exporting training to other countries. Depending on the occupation in question, a dual vocational training program lasts 2 to 3.5 years. It is very varied, as you are both student and employee: On one or two days a week you attend a vocational college, studying subjects such as German, English, and social studies and in particular material you will need for your later job. The remainder of the week you spend at the company with which you have signed your training contract. There, experienced colleagues teach you what you need to know and be able to do in this profession step by step. You then demonstrate everything you have learned in theory and practice in an intermediate exam and at the very end of the program in a final examination. Most training programs begin on 1 August or 1 September. Larger companies often announce their vacant traineeships a whole year in advance. It is a good idea to apply as soon as possible.

Attending a vocational college

There is an alternative to the dual vocational training program however. Particularly in social, care, business, or technical areas you can learn all the material at special schools, known as vocational schools or colleges. You get a taste of daily working life during several internships. Some vocational colleges charge tuition fees.

Worried about whether your school-leaving certificate or other qualifications will be recognized in Germany? A school-leaving qualification from your country can be equated with a German school-leaving qualification under certain circumstances. You also need to be able to speak good German, because tuition and examinations will be in German and German is spoken and written at most companies. You can however complete language courses before you start your training program – there are numerous funding and support options here. And remember, you must apply for a place on a training program – it won’t be allocated to you.

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by Clara Görtz