Vocational and further training
Enlarge image (© Picture-Alliance / dpa) Two-track vocational training
Germany's two-track vocational training system is quite special internationally speaking. On completing school, some 60 percent of young people in Germany move on to learn one of the 350 officially recognized vocations included in the Two-Track System. This entry into professional life differs from vocational training based only in colleges such is customary in many other countries. The practical part of the course takes place on 3 or 4 days of the week in a company; the other 1 or 2 days are spent with specialist theoretical instruction in a vocational school. The courses take 2-3 years.
This combination of theory and practical work guarantees that the craftsmen and skilled workers have prime qualifications. Vocational training is likewise a launchpad for a career that can, via advanced training, lead to participants becoming master craftsmen and women.
This two-track system means that the proportion of young people without a profession or a traineeship in Germany is comparatively low, and is only 1.8 percent of those aged 15-19 years-old.
The system is financed by the companies, who pay the trainees/apprentices a salary, while the government bears the costs of the vocational schools. At present, 643,000 companies, the public sector and the free professions are busy training young people. Small and medium-sized companies provide 80 percent of the trainee slots.