Vocational training

The term vocational training describes an educational measure that prepares a person for a professional activity in a specific field by imparting knowledge and skills. After successful completion, the candidate is awarded an official vocational qualification that authorizes him or her to perform the intended work independently. As a rule, this kind of training or apprenticeship follows a school-leaving qualification, but it can also take place at a later stage. The person undergoing training is referred to as an apprentice or trainee.

How do you find a vocational training course?

Before starting the search for a vocational training course, the candidate should pre-select the subject areas based on his or her personal preferences. To find an apprenticeship, you can first submit an unsolicited application, as fewer and fewer training companies these days place advertisements in the local press. On the other hand, job searches on the Internet are also becoming more and more important. Numerous portals list vocational training vacancies and allow direct online applications.If the search for an apprenticeship place turns out to be more difficult than anticipated, it can be useful to expand the search radius. Especially in the case of vocational training vacancies that are very popular among prospective trainees, a move to another city should not be ruled out.A requirement to be able to complete vocational training in your desired occupation is an early application for a training slot. Some companies, public authorities and administrations usually advertise vocational training vacancies up to one and a half years before the actual starting date.If you cannot find any apprenticeship, it is worth considering alternative training in a related field. For example, if you cannot find a vacancy as a trainee electronics technician or chemical-technical assistant, you might consider training as a mechatronics technician or chemical laboratory technician.


What types of vocational training are there?

Generally, a distinction is drawn between dual (company-run) and school-based vocational training. Dual courses mean that the trainee alternates between practical phases at a training company and theoretical blocks at vocational school. In this case, the apprentice is entitled to a trainee's salary from the company. Purely school-based vocational training takes place full-time at a vocational school, where the entire body of technical knowledge is taught. The apprentice gains practical experience through regular internships at companies. There is (usually) no right to remuneration. Indeed, fees are often charged for such courses.

Advantages of dual vocational training

There are many advantages to dual vocational training, including regular remuneration and the ability to apply theoretical knowledge at the training company. This means that work experience can already be gained during the training stage. Another advantage is the qualifications that can be obtained from dual training course. Graduates from dual vocational training often receive a certificate from the training company, a vocational school leaving certificate and either a certificate of completion or a journeyman's or skilled worker's certificate. Lastly, there is a chance that graduates from this type of training will be taken on by the training company in a permanent employment relationship.

Advantages of school-based vocational training

Unlike dual vocational training, school-based training is much more theoretical. For school leavers who are planning to start a career in the healthcare, social or media sector, e.g. as a geriatric nurse, physiotherapist, educator, speech therapist, foreign language assistant or pharmaceutical technical assistant, school-based training is just the right thing. Unlike dual vocational training, students in this form of training are not employed in a company, but still gain important insights into practice through various internships at companies and organizations. Apprentices who complete school-based training are thus much more flexible in shaping their own career path than is the case with those who complete dual vocational training.