Open for foreigners from all over the world: Free vocational training in Europe (Germany)

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Vocational training in Europe (Germany): Applicants from all countries can apply for a vocational training in the European Union. This highly competitive training 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.

An Overview of Vocational Training in Germany and Europe

Vocational training in Germany, commonly referred to as “Ausbildung,” “Berufsausbildung,” or “Duale Berufsausbildung,” offers a unique pathway for individuals worldwide to acquire professional skills. This program is highly competitive and open to applicants from all countries, including non-EU citizens. The training provides an opportunity to work and live in Germany, making it an attractive option for many.

In Germany, vocational training is a highly formalized system. Trainees spend half of their time in specialized vocational schools and the other half in the companies that employ them. This dual system ensures that trainees receive both theoretical and practical training, meeting the high standards set by the European Union.

The vocational training landscape in Germany is diverse, offering over 300 professions to choose from. Some of the popular professions include electrician, IT expert, nurse, and car mechanic. With more than 500,000 open positions each year and an equal number of applicants, many opportunities remain unfilled, especially in sectors like handcrafts, nursing, and IT.

Eligibility and Requirements for Vocational Training in Germany

Anyone interested in vocational training in Germany should meet certain criteria. Generally, applicants should be under 30 years of age, although this is not a strict requirement. In professions like nursing, older applicants are often welcomed. The typical age range for trainees is between 16 and 25 years, but exceptions can be made for those who are older.

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: Participants learn to 50% in a specialized vocational school and to 50% in the company that employs and pays the trainees.

Language proficiency is another crucial factor. Applicants must have at least a B1 level of German language skills to be eligible for most training programs. Lessons are conducted in German, making it essential for trainees to understand and communicate effectively in the language. However, preparational courses are available for international applicants to improve their German language skills.

Educational qualifications are also important. A foreign school-leaving certificate of at least the 9th grade is usually sufficient to start an apprenticeship in Germany. For technical professions, good grades in mathematics and computer skills are often required. No prior experience in the chosen profession is needed, as the training program will cover all necessary skills.

Financial Aspects and Support during Vocational Training

Financial considerations are an important aspect of vocational training in Germany. Trainees typically earn a gross salary ranging between 800 and 1,200 Euros per month. However, the amount can vary depending on the employer and the trainee’s qualifications. Many employers offer additional support, such as free tickets for public transportation or financial assistance for accommodation.

Life-in-Germany.de and other organizations can facilitate the application process and provide specific information about financial conditions. After successfully completing the vocational training, trainees can expect a monthly salary ranging from 2,400 to 3,500 Euros gross, depending on the profession and location.

It’s worth noting that vocational training positions are often located in economically well-developed areas outside of large cities. This helps trainees manage their finances better, as living costs are generally lower. Additionally, trainees are allowed to work up to 10 hours a week to earn extra money, and many employers offer benefits such as housing subsidies.

Career Prospects and Long-Term Benefits

Completing a vocational training program in Germany offers numerous advantages for long-term career growth. Trainees receive a German qualification as a skilled worker, which is highly regarded not only in Germany but also worldwide. This qualification opens doors to excellent career opportunities and even allows for further training and university studies.

The demand for skilled workers in Germany and Europe is currently very high and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future. Although there is no formal job guarantee after completing the training, the chances of securing long-term employment are extremely high. Many trainees continue to work in the same company where they received their training.

For those interested in settling in Germany, vocational training can be a stepping stone to obtaining a permanent residence permit. Life-in-Germany.de and other organizations offer comprehensive support throughout the application process and even assist in finding apprenticeships for family members, making it easier for trainees to move with their families.

Questions and answers

  1. Who 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 under 30 years, mostly between 16 and 25 years. However one might apply even with higher ages. Especially in the nursing profession higher ages are more often to be found.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 only about 500.000 applicants. Many positions remain unfilled each year, especially in the area of handcrafts, nursing, IT, and other services. So foreigners do have very good chances in getting a position.

  4. Do I need any support by an agent or company in my home country?

    No. You might only need professional help in your home country in order to learn German language. All the rest can be directly facilitated with Life-in-Germany.de and your future German employer.

  5. Can I start a vocational training in Germany without speaking German?

    No. You need German B1 level before you can start. 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. However there might be preparational courses for international applicants including German language training. Check the calls for applications for detailed information.

  6. How long is a vocational training in Europe (Germany)?

    The vocational training takes usually between 2 and 4 years. The duration depends on the selectes profession. There are professions in Germany with a quick training and professions in Germany that need a longer training period. During the training will learn your profession to 50% within the company by practical work and to 50% in a special vocational school.

  7. 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. The amount of the monthly allowance depends to a large extent on your employer and your curriculum vitae. Employers often offer additional support such as free tickets or financial support for your accommodation. Life-in-Germany.de or your employer will inform you about the specific conditions during the application process. 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.

  8. Does a vocational training in Europe (Germany) provide a job guarantee afterwards?

    With a vocational training in Europe (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.

  9. Can my family join me for an apprenticeship?

    Life-in-Germany.de offers apprenticeships in cooperation with German companies and educational institutions / vocational schools. We find the right apprenticeship for trainees from abroad throughout Germany and at the desired location. Also we accompany you through the application process. In case you have kids or a spouse we will do our best to make an apprenticeship possible together with your family. In this regard we will try to find a job or a place for apprenticeship for your partner.

Next steps to read about

  1. Finding an apprenticeship position: The first step in vocational training is to find a suitable position. This involves researching various companies and industries to identify the best fit for your career goals.
  2. Application for an apprenticeship: Once you’ve identified potential training positions, the next step is to apply. This is a critical phase where you need to showcase your skills, qualifications, and interest in the chosen field.
  3. Writing an Application for apprenticeship: Crafting a compelling application can set you apart from other candidates. This usually involves writing a resume and a cover letter tailored to the vocational training you are interested in.
  4. Language improvements: For non-German speakers, meeting the language requirements is crucial. Most programs require at least a B1 level of German, and understanding this requirement early on can save time and effort.
  5. Financial Aspects: Understanding the financial elements, such as potential earnings during training and any additional support like housing subsidies, can help you plan your finances better.
  6. Legal Requirements: For international applicants, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements, including visas and work permits, to avoid any complications later.
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