German Dual VET System
The German dual VET system looks back to a history of more than 100 years. It is embedded in the German society and characterised by a strong commitment of many groups of German society such as the state and federal staes, the industry, the companies and social partners.
The system is based upon a combination of on-the-job training within a specific company, and classroom based training provided by a vocational school. Hence, it is called “dual” because training takes place at two learning venues. Apprentices (learners) are employed during the apprenticeship by the company.
The combination of theory and practice gives the apprentices (learners) a head start into their jobs. By the time they have completed their training, they will not only have the required technical knowledge, but they will also have hands-on experience in their job.
Trainees conclude a training contract with a company, where they undergo training in one of more than 300 training occupations (skills areas) recognised in accordance with the relevant Vocational Training Act or the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code.
Depending on the occupation duration of training is between two and three and a half years. Training may also be completed on a part-time basis. Apart from the provision that mandatory full-time schooling must have been concluded, no further prior school learning requirements apply in respect of entry to dual training. They get paid during their apprenticeship.
A final exam which is performed by the chambers of commerce completes the apprenticeship. Upon passing the final examination, apprentices receive a Chamber certificate (or aTradesman certificate in the case of a craft trades occupation) to document that training has been successfully completed. This certifies that they are in possession of employability skills in one of the state-recognized occupations.
The expertise of teaching staff at the vocational school and of qualified and certified company-based trainers plays a major role in securing the quality of dual training.