berufsausbildungvocational training

In order to find employment in Germany it is important to complete an apprenticeship or academic studies.

An apprenticeship usually takes two to three years. There are three different  types of apprenticeship: a working apprenticeship where you work in a business and learn on the job; a school apprenticeship where you visit the “Berufsschule” (training school); and a dual apprenticeship which combines theory and practice. In order to have access to an apprenticeship you are usually required to have at least a “Hauptschulabschluss” (Qualifying lower secondary general education certificate).

A different option to qualify for a profession is to study at university.

  • How do I find a place for an apprenticeship?

    In Bremen there are apprenticeship fairs where different occupations are presented. Often schools also organise so called “Berufsorientierungstage” (occupational orientation days) or taster work experience. What type of occupations there are and how you can apply can be found on the website

    To get a spot for an apprenticeship you apply directly to an employer. But not all companies offer apprenticeships.

  • Why is an apprenticeship important?

    An apprenticeship qualifies you for an occupation. For example if you have completed an apprenticeship as an inland sailor you can apply for a position to work as an inland sailor. If you do not have a qualification in this area this is not possible.

    Without an apprenticeship you are left only with jobs as a labourer/unskilled worker (for example on building sites or in agriculture) where in most cases you will earn significantly less money.

    Another argument: a completed apprenticeship protects you from unemployment. In addition, without an apprenticeship you are more likely to receive temporary contracts or you will only be allowed to work at specific times – for example in the summer when there is lots to do on building sites, in gastronomy or at the harvest.

  • For whom is an apprenticeship the right choice?

    Within an apprenticeship the area of work is clearly outlined and is closely linked to the future occupation of the apprentice. So if you want to start an apprenticeship you have to be clear in you choice of the profession. To change into another profession is very difficult.

  • For whom are studies at university the right choice?

    Students have to choose a direction of study but are able to decide later on during their studies on a definite profession. Therefore as a student you gain a wide range of basic knowledge which allows you to enter various professions within your area of study.

    The emphasis of academic studies definitely lies in the imparting of theoretical knowledge. However, as a student you can gain some first practical experiences through work experience within different businesses and occupational areas – also in the form of work experience abroad.


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