Under certain conditions, EU citizens can also receive financial support for their training or further education.
Individual support services are available to promote vocational training and further education. The most important ones are:
1. The Vocational training grant () can be applied for a degree or school education:
Student BAföG: For some school-based training, trainees receive a training allowance. This applies, for example, to training to become a nurse. Apprentices in other school-based vocational training programs often do not receive any payment. In these cases, the State supports initial training at vocational schools, full-time adult education colleges, academies and universities.
Since the 2019 BAföG amendment, studies at a private vocational academy can also be funded.
Advancement BAföG: Funding is provided for further training that enables professional advancement. With the Advancement BAföG, the State increases the grants for course fees.
The Bafög for studies supports students from financially weaker families who want to take up studies, e.g. at a German university of applied sciences or a university. BAföG is not exclusively reserved for German nationals. Students from the EU and foreigners are also eligible, provided they can refer to a residence permit and personally meet the individual funding requirements. They must not be older than 30 years old.
BAföG benefits must be applied for in writing at the responsible Training assistance office These are:
• the Student union at the location of the university where the course is to be taken up,
• at the training assistance office of the city or district administration, in whose district the training centre is located.
Note: Trainees who complete dual company training and receive a training allowance for it are excluded from Bafög funding.
3. The Vocational training grant () can be applied for by trainees as participants in a vocational preparation training measure. The aim is to support trainees who are completing their training outside their parents’ place of residence and who have to finance their own household.
4. Assistance during training () promotes measures for the supervision of trainees as well as accompany the professional training with tutoring courses. The aim is to prevent dropping out of training.
Let the Federal Employment Agency advise you on whether you are entitled to a subsidy, what the requirements are and how much the subsidy is. Information on the topic of financial support for training and further education can be found in of the Federal Employment Agency.
It is possible to start vocational training in Germany at any time, regardless of age, gender or nationality. The prerequisite, however, is to find a company providing training. The employment agencies or the chambers (e.g. chambers of industry and commerce, chambers of crafts, chambers of agriculture) can provide support in the search for a suitable training occupation and company providing training.
If certain requirements are met, professional qualification can also take the form of further training or retraining. Depending on the training occupation, it lasts between 1.5 months and 3.5 years and can also be funded with public funds from the Federal Employment Agency or Job centre or the rehabilitation providers. Reasons for funding can be, for example, the lack of a vocational qualification that is in demand on the labour market or a professional reorientation that is necessary for health reasons. Further information can be found .
In dual and full-time school-based vocational training, you obtain a professional qualification that qualifies you to practice a specific profession. In particular, the dual vocational training system has a long tradition in Germany and enjoys a high level of acceptance in business.
The Germany-wide standard and a State-recognised qualification act like a seal of quality that employers can use as a guide when hiring new employees. Trained professionals have a lower risk of becoming unemployed and often have a higher income than semi-skilled workers. In addition, the dual vocational training system offers excellent further training and promotion opportunities, e.g. to become a master craftsman, industrial master or business administrator. Dual training is therefore the basis for lifelong learning and good career opportunities.
The following 10 apprenticeships are currently the most frequently requested by young women:
- Office management clerk
- Medical assistant
- Retail assistant
- Dental assistant
- Industrial clerk
- Hotel professional
- Specialised salesperson in the food trade
- Bank clerk
The following 10 professions are most popular among young men:
- Motor vehicle mechatronics technician
- Electronics technician
- Retail assistant
- Industrial mechanic
- Facilities mechanic for sanitary, heating and air conditioning technologies
- IT specialist
- Warehouse logistics specialist
- Wholesale and foreign trade clerk
- Office management clerk
It is often difficult to find an apprenticeship in the particularly popular professions. That is why you should not commit to one profession from the outset, but find out about different professions. Young people should try to find out about their own abilities and inclinations and choose appropriate training occupations. In addition to the TOP 10 jobs, there is a wide range of interesting jobs in a wide variety of areas. You can find more detailed information on job descriptions and the required school-leaving certificates, for example, on the website of the or the . The Federal Agency offers an advice service for young people to help them find the right job (vocational advice). In the of the Federal Employment Agency you can find out about all training and study opportunities on site.
When looking for a suitable training position, the careers advice service at the employment agencies is always available to help and advise. In addition to the personal advice and training place placement services, young people also have access to a wide range of options for independently looking for training places. You can use the to search independently for vacant company training positions. School training opportunities can be found nationwide on the Internet via the website . Information days in the job information centres of the employment agencies or apprenticeship fairs also offer support in finding training.
In addition to the Federal Employment Agency, the online job exchanges of the chambers of crafts and industry and commerce also offer help in the search for an apprenticeship.
The chambers (e.g. , chambers of agriculture) can also provide support. In order to bring those looking for training and companies together, “tailor-made advisers” and “welcome guides” at the chambers support small and medium-sized companies in filling their training positions with young people from Germany and abroad.
General information can be found under the following links:
- On the multilingual information portal of the Federal government you will find further apprenticeship exchanges of the chambers of industry and commerce, the chambers of crafts, offers for particularly popular training as well as the apprenticeship radar of the chamber of crafts and other interesting information that is important for the training.
Dual training is regulated by the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) and the individual training regulations for the respective professions. This defines the general conditions of the training, such as the rights and obligations of trainees (apprentice or “trainee”) or the training content.
The training contract determines how the training is regulated in each individual case. The competent bodies (e.g. Chamber of Industry and Commerce – or Chamber of Crafts - ) control the training and carry out the examinations.
Requirements: In purely formal terms, no specific school-leaving qualifications are required for dual vocational training. In principle, according to the BBiG, anyone can complete any dual training course, regardless of gender, age or school qualifications. In practice, many companies set minimum requirements that applicants should meet, such as a certain degree or good grades in individual subjects.
Duration: Depending on the training occupation, dual training usually lasts between 2 and 3.5 years. The school leaving certificate and the performance during the training can affect the duration and also lead to a shortening or lengthening of the training.
Training in a company: As a rule, the trainee works 3 to 4 days a week in the company, where he/she learns the practical and manual skills. The content to be learned for each profession is specified in the general training plan.
Training in part-time vocational school: In addition to their work in the company providing training, the trainees attend between 8 and 12 hours of instruction per week at a part-time vocational school. The curricula vary depending on the training occupation and the Federal state in which the dual training is completed. The lessons are divided into theoretical content that is specially tailored to the job and general content. In the general part, for example, German, politics, religion and sport are on the curriculum.
Conclusion: During the dual training, there are usually 2 important exams that you have to pass as an apprentice: The intermediate exam is taken in the middle of the training and is intended to show that the trainee is making good progress and has grasped the content to date. The apprenticeship ends when the final examination is passed (the journeyman’s examination in the trade).
With a completed vocational training in your pocket, it does not have to be the end. In many areas you can complete further training, in crafts, for example, you can acquire a master craftsman’s certificate. In addition, there are many other opportunities that open up after the training, e.g. further training, second training or postgraduate studies.
Requirements: In most cases, the full-time vocational schools expect a middle school certificate (intermediate school-leaving certificate). In some professional fields, a secondary general school-leaving certificate is also accepted. A pre-study internship is also required for some vocational training courses. Some schools also conduct aptitude tests.
Duration: A purely school-based training usually lasts between 1 and 3 years.
Company internships: Internships are an essential part of school-based training. These can either take place on specific days per week or as a block over a longer period of time.
The theoretical part is supplemented by 3 or more internships in different institutions. In the healthcare sector in particular, the schools usually cooperate with companies for these internships or are even directly connected to hospitals. This is where theoretical knowledge is put into practice.
Conclusion: With a 1 to 2-year visit to a full-time vocational school, one acquires “Basic vocational training”. With a duration of 2 to 3 years, on the other hand, one concludes with “Vocational training”. As a rule, graduates of school training receive a recognised qualification (e.g. State-certified IT assistant, State-certified business economist or State-certified social assistant).
Depending on the full-time vocational school and Federal state, you can also catch up on the middle school certificate (intermediate school-leaving certificate) and even the entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences during the school education.