Highly Skilled Workforce
Germany’s world-class education system ensures that the highest standards are always met. The German workforce comprises over 45 million people – making it the largest pool of skilled labor in the EU. Additionally, companies in Germany benefit from a great number of well trained employees: More than 80 percent of the German workforce has received a formal vocational training, is in possession of a trade or technical school certificate or an academic degree.
Germany’s globally renowned dual system of vocational training consists of about 1.2 million apprentices, around 400,000 training companies and more than 8,000 vocational schools. In addition, about 2.9 million students are enrolled at one of Germany’s more than 400 universities. A majority has opted for courses with a technical focus. Germany’s share of university students in the natural sciences, in mathematics, statistics and computer sciences, and in engineering is the highest in the EU, with 37.7 percent of all students in Germany (2021). According to OECD statistics, Germany has the highest number of graduates with a doctoral degree in the natural sciences and in engineering.
Dual Education System
In order to secure the economy’s demand for highly qualified personnel, Germany traditionally relies on a dual system of vocational education and training - combining the benefits of classroom-based and on-the-job training over a period of two to three years. Every fifth German company participates in the dual vocational training system, which turns their best apprentices into specialists that successfully comply with industry’s needs.
The apprentices also benefit from the system. In 2021, about 74 percent of all apprentices received an employment contract after completing their vocational training at the company. More than 1.2 million young people are currently enrolled in a vocational training program. Germany has Europe’s lowest youth unemployment rate with only 5.7 percent and enjoys an excellent reputation resulting from the dual system of vocational education and training.
Germany’s Dual Vocational Education and Training (VET) System
There are currently around 325 occupations recognized by the system. The German government, in close cooperation with the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHKs) and the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH), ensures that standards are adhered to rigidly, guaranteeing the quality of training provided in Germany.
The higher education system also applies the dual system of vocational training. There are currently more than 120,000 students taking part in a dual study program. These are usually offered by universities of applied sciences. Most of the almost 1,750 dual study programs are in engineering or in business. Today, more than 56,000 companies are participating.
Motivated and Dependable Employees
German labor flexibility is reflected in a higher than average employee motivation – exceeding that of most industrialized nations. In fact, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, German employee motivation levels are higher than those recorded in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Poland or France. As a direct consequence Germans work more than their international peers and loose less days per annum due to labour disputes than other European nations.