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 fulfil each company’s individual needs.
The apprentices also benefit from the system. In 2017, about 74% of all apprentices received an employment contract after completing their vocational training at the company. More than 1.3 million young people are currently in a vocational training program in Germany. Germany has Europe’s second lowest youth unemployment rate with only 5,8% and enjoys an excellent reputation resulting from the dual system of vocational education and training.
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 across Germany.
The higher education system also applies the dual system of vocational training. There are currently more than 110,000 students taking part in a dual study program. These are usually offered by universities of applied sciences. Most of the dual study programs are in engineering or business because of the high level of integration with the more than 47,000 companies and other partners participating.
Chart: Vocational Training "Made in Germany"
© Federal Statistical Office 2017 + Germany Trade & Invest