BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Vocational training

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Vocational training

Good training is the most important factor for getting your working life off to a good start. If you are trying to find a job in Germany it is important to have completed a vocational training course or a course of study.

A vocational training course generally lasts between two and three years and is usually organised within Germany’s “dual system”. This means that the course includes practical on-the-job training as well as theoretical elements provided in a school. Some training courses, e.g. in nursing, are only offered in schools. To access a vocational training course, applicants generally need to have gained a lower secondary school-leaving certificate as a minimum requirement.

Choice of career

There are approximately 400 vocational training occupations in Germany. The careers information services operated by the Federal Employment Agency help young people choose the right career. They offer a wealth of information on different jobs, the activities that they involve and the qualifications required for them. There are employment agencies all over Germany, so you will need to find out which one is responsible for you. The Federal Employment Agency also offers information on the Internet on the training occupations which exist in Germany. .

The Federal administration is looking for applicants of all nationalities for more than 130 different training occupations. You can find out what occupations exist and how your child can apply on the website (see the right-hand column in the German-language version of this article). The information for parents is provided in several languages.

There are also other ways of finding out about different careers. Training fairs are organised in many towns, at which the different training occupations will be presented. The schools themselves frequently also organise "vocational orientation days" or "taster internships".

display as hint: Tip

Foreign-language skills are important for many jobs. Find out together with your child if there are specific areas of work in which your mother tongue would be an advantage.

The vocational training contract

Before the vocational training commences, a written training contract is signed with the company at which the training is to be provided. This contract sets out the content and goals to be achieved in the training. Young people who require financial support during their training can apply for vocational training assistance (Berufsausbildungsbeihilfe) from the Employment Agency.

display as attention: Important information

It is very difficult to find a place on a vocational training course without a secondary general (Hauptschule) school-leaving certificate. Having a higher level of school-leaving qualification is even better. It is therefore very important that your child take the school-leaving examination.

display as address: Information available locally

You can find out further information in your area from:

  • the careers counselling service at the Employment Agency
  • the Migration Advisory Service for Adult Immigrants and the Youth Advisory Service
  • the Youth Migration Service.
Date 17 December 2015

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