Dual vocational training is a combination of practical training in companies and theoretical training at a vocational school. Because of this combination of theory and practice, this type of vocational training is considered a specific feature of the German education system and finds international recognition.
Dual vocational training takes between two and three and a half years and is offered in the following areas:
- in the crafts sector
- in the industry and retail sector
- in the services sector
- in the maritime sector
- in the agricultural sector
- in the public sector
The company offering the vocational training (training enterprise), concludes a contract with the apprentice. Apprentices are employees and vocational school students simultaneously. They receive payment throughout the whole training period. If you achieve high marks during your vocational training, you have very good career prospects and chances of a permanent position in the training company. The IHK24-Netzwerk explains the dual vocational training system in a short video. The video is available on YouTube in German, English and Arabic.
The Federal Employment Agency’s online portal berufe.tv provides a comprehensive overview of vocational training options in Germany. You can also obtain information on single professions from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). The online portals Azubiyo and Ausbildung.de can be helpful in the search for a suitable training place.
Applications must be addressed directly to the appropriate company offering vocational training.
You can find more information on applications in the section working.
Usually, vocational training starts on 1 August or 1 February of any year. In general, trainees work at the company for three to four days a week to learn the practical and technical skills of the profession.
In addition, trainees visit a vocational school, for usually about twelve lessons a week. Please note: Some training courses are divided into teaching blocks that last several weeks, and longer periods of practical training at the company.
The vocational school lessons include general contents such as "Language & Communication" and technical English as well as content that is important for the specific profession.
There is an intermediate examination after the first half of the training period. At the end of the apprenticeship’s, trainees need to pass a final examination. After having successfully finished the vocational training, graduates may carry out their specific profession.
Trainees receive a minimum of 24 working days or four weeks of vacation – but only during school holidays.
During the training period, trainees receive a salary: the so-called apprenticeship allowance. The amount of the allowance depends on the company and the type of vocational training.
Special requirements for non-EU/EEA nationals
- The apprentice is at least 18 years old.
- The training profession is considered an understaffed profession in Germany.
- The school-leaving qualification from abroad is equivalent to a German secondary school certificate.
- The apprentice has sufficient knowledge of the German language (at least B2 level).
- The funding of the apprentice's stay is secured (including health insurance and accommodation).
- For more information please read the article General Entry and Stay Regulations in Germany.
Counselling Services at the Hamburg Welcome Center
The Hamburg Welcome Center supports you if you want to do a training or further qualification in Hamburg. You can find more information about our services here:
Contact and more details
Are you interested in doing vocational training in Hamburg or do you have any further questions? Please feel free to contact either the Hamburg Institute for Vocational Education and Training, the Youth Employment Advisory Services, the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts or the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.