People from all countries can apply for a Ausbildung in Germany 2023 or at any time. Ausbildung is a highly competitive training. It is suitable for all those, who want to learn a profession according to German standards – including the perspective to work and live in Germany even as a non-EU citizen.
The dual vocational training system in Germany
In Germany, companies train their blue collar workers traditionally with vocational training programs. In German the term is ‘Ausbildung’, ‘Berufsausbildung’ or ‘Duale Berufsausbildung’. An English synonym is ‘apprenticeship’. Unlike in other states, a German Berufsausbildung is highly formalized: Curricula and exams are nationwide standardized for more than 350 professions. Participants learn as well at specialized vocational schools as in the employing company. From the employing company students get a monthly salary.
The dual vocational training system in Germany is a unique educational concept that combines theoretical and practical training. It allows young people to undergo a qualified apprenticeship in a specific profession while gaining practical experience within a company. This dual system has proven successful in Germany and is renowned for producing highly skilled professionals.
In the dual vocational training system, the training phases alternate between vocational school and the training company. The vocational school provides the theoretical foundations of the profession, while the training company offers hands-on experience in the workplace. This combination allows for a comprehensive education where theory and practice are closely intertwined.
The dual vocational training system offers the advantage of early integration into the working world, enabling apprentices to apply practical skills and knowledge directly. They receive a solid vocational education that prepares them for the demands of the job market. Additionally, apprentices are compensated financially during their training, providing them with financial independence.
Another benefit of the dual vocational training system is the close cooperation between training companies and vocational schools. This ensures a practical education that aligns with current labor market requirements. Apprentices have the opportunity to apply what they have learned directly in the company and learn from experienced professionals.
The dual vocational training system offers a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities in various industries and fields. It covers a diverse range of professions, from skilled trades and technical occupations to commercial and social occupations. This allows apprentices to have a wide array of career options and tailor their choices according to their individual interests and strengths.
The importance and advantages of Ausbildung in Germany
First and foremost, vocational training equips individuals with practical skills and knowledge that are directly applicable in the workforce. It bridges the gap between education and employment by preparing individuals for specific professions, ensuring they are well-prepared for the demands of the job market. This leads to higher employability rates and reduces unemployment rates in the long term.
Furthermore, vocational training plays a crucial role in fostering economic growth and competitiveness. By producing highly skilled professionals, it meets the needs of various industries and contributes to the overall productivity of the country. Skilled workers are essential for innovation, technological advancements, and maintaining a competitive edge in a global economy.
The advantages of vocational training extend beyond individual career prospects. Apprenticeships also promote social mobility and inclusivity. They offer opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to gain valuable skills and qualifications, enabling them to secure stable employment and improve their quality of life. This helps reduce social inequalities and create a more equitable society.
Moreover, vocational training often leads to long-term job security and higher earning potential. Apprentices who complete their training successfully are highly sought after by employers, as they possess the practical expertise and professional competence required for specific roles. This translates into higher wages and better career prospects for individuals, creating a positive impact on their financial stability and future prospects.
Differences between traditional school-based education and the Ausbildung in Germany
There are significant differences between traditional school-based education and the dual vocational training system in Germany. These differences lie in the structure, learning approach, and outcomes of each type of education.
In a school-based education, the focus is primarily on theoretical knowledge and academic learning. Students attend classes in various subjects, where they acquire knowledge through lectures, textbooks, and exams. This type of education provides a broad foundation across different disciplines but may lack practical application and hands-on experience.
On the other hand, the dual vocational training system combines theoretical learning in vocational schools with practical training in real work environments. Apprentices spend a significant portion of their time working in training companies, where they gain hands-on experience and learn directly from experienced professionals. This hands-on training enables apprentices to develop practical skills that are directly applicable in their chosen profession.
Another difference lies in the learning environment. In school-based education, students typically learn in a classroom setting with peers and teachers. The focus is on individual learning and academic achievement. In contrast, the dual vocational training system provides a more immersive learning experience within a real work setting. Apprentices work alongside skilled professionals, learning from their expertise and gaining valuable industry-specific knowledge.
The outcomes of each type of education also differ. School-based education often leads to further academic pursuits, such as attending university or pursuing higher degrees. In contrast, the dual vocational training system prepares individuals for specific professions and offers direct entry into the workforce. Apprentices receive a recognized vocational qualification upon completion of their training, which enhances their employability and career prospects.
It is important to note that both types of education have their merits and cater to different learning styles and career goals. School-based education provides a broad knowledge base and flexibility for further academic pursuits, while the dual vocational training system offers practical skills and direct entry into the job market. The choice between the two depends on individual preferences, career aspirations, and personal learning styles.
Career prospects after an apprenticeship
The career prospects after completing vocational training in Germany are generally quite promising. Graduates of the dual vocational training system possess practical skills and industry-specific knowledge that make them highly sought after by employers.
One of the main advantages of vocational training is that it prepares individuals for specific professions, which increases their employability. The demand for skilled workers in various industries remains high, and companies often prefer candidates who have undergone vocational training due to their practical expertise. This gives vocational training graduates a competitive edge in the job market.
Upon completing their training, individuals have a range of career options available to them. They can choose to continue working in the same company where they completed their apprenticeship or explore opportunities in other companies within their field. The practical experience gained during the training period allows graduates to start their careers with a solid foundation and adapt quickly to the demands of the workplace.
Furthermore, vocational training often opens up opportunities for career advancement and specialization. With experience and continuous learning, individuals can progress to more senior positions within their chosen profession. They may also have the opportunity to pursue further qualifications or certifications, which can enhance their career prospects and earning potential.
The dual vocational training system is also designed to cater to the needs of various industries, including skilled trades, technical occupations, commercial roles, and social professions. This diversity provides graduates with a wide range of career paths to choose from, allowing them to align their career choices with their interests and strengths.
Popular programs of Ausbildung in Germany
In Germany, there are a variety of popular vocational training occupations that are sought after by many young people each year. These occupations cover a wide range of industries and areas of interest.
Some of the popular vocational training occupations in Germany include:
- Industrial Clerk: This training prepares apprentices for administrative tasks in industrial companies. They can work in areas such as purchasing, sales, human resources, and controlling.
- Bank Clerk: This training equips apprentices with the skills needed for various roles in the banking sector. They learn both business and financial-specific skills and can be employed in areas such as customer advisory, credit management, and payment transactions.
- Medical Assistant: This training is aimed at future medical assistants who work in doctor’s offices, clinics, or other medical facilities. Apprentices learn administrative tasks, patient care, and medical assistance.
- Electronics Technician: This training is in high demand in the electrical industry. Electronics technicians can work in areas such as energy and building technology, information and communication technology, or automation technology.
- Industrial Mechanic: This training enables apprentices to assemble, maintain, and repair mechanical systems in the industry. They work in production and can be employed in various fields such as mechanical engineering, automotive technology, or metal processing.
- Office Management Assistant: This training prepares apprentices for office tasks in various industries. They learn administrative tasks, office organization, and customer support.
These are just a few examples of popular programs of Ausbildung in Germany. However, there are many other options available in various fields such as hospitality, crafts, IT, and healthcare. The choice of vocational training occupation depends on individual interests, skills, and career goals.
Ausbildung in Germany: Quick questions and answers
Is it easy to get a position in a ‘vocational training’ programme?
Fairly yes. There are more than 500.000 open positions each year with slightly less than 500.000 applicants. So many positions remain unfilled each year, especially in the area of handcrafts, nursing, IT, and other services. So applicants from outside of Germany do have very good chances in getting a apprenticeship position.
Who can do a ‘vocational training’ in Europe (Germany)?
Any foreigner regardless of the age, speaking German on level B1 at least and having finished 9 or 10 years school education.
Can my family join me for an apprenticeship?
In general this is possible and welcomed by many employers. However you need to consult with the German authorities (embassy, consulate) about the current regulations and what counts for you.
Which foreigners can do a ‘vocational training’ in Germany?
Foreigners from all countries are eligible to apply for a vocational training in Germany. The typical age for vocational training in Germany is up to 30 years, mostly between 16 and 25 years. However one might apply even with higher ages. Especially in the nursing training higher ages are more often to be found.
How long is a vocational training in Europe (Germany)?
The vocational training takes usually between 2 and 4 years. You can select from short apprenticeships and longer apprenticeships in Germany. You will learn your profession to 50% within the company by practical work and to 50% in a special vocational school. Lessons will be held in German only – therefore you need German skills on level B1 of the GER. During the training in Europe (Germany), you will be employed by a German company with a German contract providing the same rights and obligations as for German nationals.
Does a vocational training provide a job guarantee?
With a vocational training in Germany, foreign applicants receive a German qualification as a skilled worker. Currently and for the foreseeable future there is a very high demand for skilled workers in Germany as in all Europe. Although there is no ‘guarantee’ for a job after the vocational training: chances are really high that you may continue to work in the company of your vocational training without limitation in time. This also offers foreigners the perspective for living in Germany legally.
How much do I earn during a vocational training in Europe (Germany)?
The typical gross salary rages between 800 and 1,200 Euros per month gross (885 to 1,350 US$ per month). The amount of this monthly allowance depends to a large extent on your employer, the region of employment in Germany, and your curriculum vitae. Employers often offer additional support such as free tickets or financial support for your accommodation. Having successfully finished the vocational training you might expect a monthly salary of about 2,400 to 3,500 Euros gross working in your profession (2,650 to 3,850 US$), again depending on several factors.
Can I start a vocational training in Germany without speaking German?
No. You need German on level B1 level before you can start.
Which degree do I acquire with an apprenticeship in Germany?
As a rule, a certificate as ‘skilled worker’ is awarded as degree. This degree offers excellent career opportunities in Germany and worldwide. The skilled worker qualification enables you to apply for a permanent residence permit in Germany, provided that some other requirements are met.
Which is the maximum age for an apprenticeship in Germany?
There is no maximum age limit by law. In some professions – e.g. nursing care – applicants over 40 years of age are not rare. However, you should note that as a foreigner you will learn at the vocational school together with German students who are usually between 16 and 25 years old.
Do I need any professional experience before starting an apprenticeship?
No, the vocational training system in Germany does not require any experience when you start the training. You will learn everything you need to know step by step during the training.
How can I learn German in order to be entitled to start a vocational training?
You might start to learn German online or together with a German teacher near you in your home country. Besides this there are many more opportunities.
Which educational level do I need to start a vocational training in Germany?
A foreign school-leaving certificate of 9th grade or higher (usually a middle-school) is sufficient to start an apprenticeship in Germany. For technical professions, you should have good grades in mathematics as well as computer skills. Besides the mentioned German skills no other criteria must be met.
Which German language skills do I need?
You must speak German at least at level B1 at the beginning of the training. However you can apply already when you have a A2 command of German. For nursing care training you will need B2 level of German.
Which language certificates do I need for an apprenticeship?
There is no requirement for a certificate by a selected institution. Applicants can apply with certificates from all institutions – including local language schools abroad or teachers from abroad. However you might need to proof your command of German in interviews and during visa application.
Which reputation has a vocational training in Europe (Germany)?
In Germany a vocational training has a much higher image than in other countries. This comes firstly due to the high demand of workers in the blue collar professions – which stays in connection with good salary. The image of vocational training in Germany has risen in the recent years even more. This comes by new options for further training and studies after the vocational training, resulting even in options to start studies at university.