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AUSBILDUNG(Apprenticeship in Germany)


In Germany, many young people enter the labour market over the apprenticeship system. Over 5,00,000 new apprenticeship contracts are concluded every year. The system developed historically out of the medieval guild system. Its base is the concept of “occupation”.


The Federal Republic of Germany consists of 16 states [Länder]. They are responsible for legislation and administration in the areas of education, science and culture. The distribution of legislative competence between the Federal Government and the Länder is defined in the Basic Law, in that the Länder shall have the right to legislate insofar as the Basic Law does not confer legislative power on the Federal Government (Article 70). Educational and cultural legislation is therefore primarily the responsibility of the Länder.

The regulation of the in-company part of the dual apprenticeship training is the only direct competence area of the Federal Government within the field of education. Because of the importance of apprenticeships for the economy, the German government puts a high emphasis on the promotion of the system. It addresses the challenges through initiatives and programmes. The core of the dual apprenticeship system is the institutionalized cooperation of the Federal Government, the Federal States and the social partners based on a principle of consensus. The offer of in-company training places is the decision of the company and subject to market conditions.


Historical roots of the in-company training go back to the Middle Ages. Individual craft and trade associations, the guilds, regulated apprenticeships for their enterprises. A systematic form of training in enterprise and school, the so-called master craftsmen training, developed out of those occupational regulations. As the process of industrialization began, the industries adopted the concept of craft training and adapted it to their needs. They regulated vocational training through the establishment of a mandatory catalogue of skills and knowledge and guidelines for the duration of the training.

Gradually, “national standards” were created for the qualification of skilled workers. But it was not until after the Second World War, in 1953, that vocational training in the crafts was regulated under the Crafts and Trade Code (Gesetz zur Ordnung des Handwerks –HwO). In 1969 the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) was adopted and amended in 2005.

Vocational schools also look back on a long tradition that can be traced back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Although compulsory vocational school instruction was not introduced until 1938, the public authorities could already oblige enterprises to send their apprentices to vocational school more than a hundred years ago.

Meaning of apprenticeship

In Germany apprenticeship in the dual system is (still) the main pathway into employment for young people. Depending on the occupation it is also a widely accepted option for young people with university entrance qualifications. Many companies consider training as a social task and take pride in being a training company. The relatively smooth transition into employment and the resulting low youth unemployment are seen as important strengths of the system.

In recent years the system started to get under pressure due to the trend towards academic studies. Traditionally youth entering the dual apprenticeship system outnumbered higher education entrants. In 2011 the numbers were even for the first time, and since then higher education enrolments dominate.

Core concept

The foundation of the system is the occupational concept. Apprentices are trained in a recognized training occupation according to nationally valid standards. The overall aim is to equip the individual with abilities, knowledge and skills – referred to as professional ability to act – necessary for the exercise of a qualified vocational activity in a changing working environment. This way the interests of the apprentices to gain a labour-market relevant qualification and of the companies to get a skilled labour force are intended to be balanced. The occupation also serves as a resource for social integration and personal identification.


In 2017 the calculated share of the resident population starting an apprenticeship in the dual system was 52.9%. In total, around 1,32 million persons were in an apprenticeship in 2017. From the apprentices starting in 2017, 42.3% had a general secondary education leaving certificate, 24.7% had a secondary education leaving certificate and 29.2% were holding a university entrance qualification. The share of those holding a university entrance qualification is steadily increasing since 2009 (20.3%).

The number of newly-concluded apprenticeship contracts was 531,400 at 30. September 2018. Over one-third of the contracts were concluded in the ten most frequent training occupations.

There were 1,552 part-time vocational schools in 2015. At the end of 2017, 427,227 companies participated in the apprenticeship system, which is 19.8% of all companies in Germany. In 2016, 68% of the apprenticeship graduates were taken on as employees, at very small companies (up to nine employees) 56% of the graduates were taken on. The ratio also varies according to the sector.

If you are from  India then you must have a 12th-grade school examination passed certificate with 70% marks and above. It could be in any subject group. This is the minimum academic qualification required for an applicant from a Non-European country to apply for an Ausbildung programme in Germany. Those who have higher level qualifications achieved after the 12th-grade school education e.g; diploma or degree, also can apply.

But there is one important thing you must require to be eligible for the Ausbildung program, and that is proficiency in the German language. The language used in the vocational training school is German. They conduct all exams in German. So, you need to fulfil the basic requirement or level for the German language, i.e. be able to prove that your level is at least B2. The most important prerequisite that most companies check for hiring apprentices from other countries is a good knowledge of German.  Currently, there are around 330 occupations requiring formal training in Germany.  Popular among them are Nursing, Culinary, Hospitality, Craftsman, Physiotherapy, Lab Technician etc.

Once accepted to this program as an Azubi or Ausbildender by any of the German companies, your training under Ausbildung will be divided into two parts. In the first place, you will be affiliated with a German company where you’ll be on a work placement as an apprentice. Secondly, you’ll be affiliated with a vocational training school, also known as Berufsschule in the German language, where you will be attending training classes. You need to divide your time based on your apprenticeship period to attend both these places. For example, if you have applied for Ausbildung in a Nursing home, you have to work for three days there to gain practical knowledge. For the remaining 2 days of your week, you’ll take part in your vocational training school (Berufsschule) where you’ll study your respective assigned category and technicalities.  Your vocational training school will conduct your exams like midterms and final exams. Your final Ausbildung score will include grades from your company and vocational training school. The company will give you grades as per your work and training school as per your performance in the exams. Usually, the Ausbildung program lasts for 2-4 years, but if your grades are well based on your performance in the company and vocational training school, then this time period can be reduced.

NursingMidwiferyHospitality ManagementMedical AssistantOT AssistantElectricianPhysiotherapistIT TechnicianDieticianSports & Fitness TrainerLab Technician, Craftsman and many more

Monthly stipend

Participants of Ausbildung are paid a monthly stipend by the company where they work every week as part of the programme. Generally, they are entitled to a minimum amount of 850 EURO per month. It could be more according to the skills, productivity of each participant, and the number of hours of work per week.

Nursing in Germany

Most popular among the Ausbildung is Nursing.  What you need to know about nursing : 

Duration is 3 years.  On average, there will be 2100 hours of theory and 2500 hours of practical.  The first two years their training is concentrated on Orientation, Emotion handling,  Care etc…. At the end of the 2nd year, there is an exam. And in the third year, they can specialize in one of the three areas viz :  Geriatric, Paediatrics or General Nursing. This is based on the revisions effected from July 2020. After obtaining three years of work experience they can enrol on a Bachelor of Nursing program if required.  

An international student who wants to enrol either for Bachelor of Nursing or Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Management, need to attend Studienkolleg  (preparatory program) which is held in German

Language.  So for such students to need German Language B2 level proficiency, then they need to attend and clear this foundation, then they need to have an employer sponsorship then only they get admitted to B.Sc. Nursing program.

Those who obtain such qualifications may get jobs as Ward Manager, Superintendent etc.. etc.  While those who come out from a Health Care Management Course may get jobs in Business Administration, Health Care System, Economics, Human Resource Management and so on….. at hospitals, wellness centres, insurance companies, consulting companies etc. Salary depends on many factors such as an employer, location, qualification of the employee, the experience of employee etc. etc.  Generally, Geriatric Nurses average salary would be  2500 Euro, Paediatric Nurse Euro 2850  and General Nurse Euro 2800.

Stipend again varies from state to state and employer to employer.  The average pay would be 1160 for 1st

the year 1225 for the 2nd year and 1330 for the 3rd year.  This is inclusive of Tax.


If you are a qualified Nurse from India and wish to work in Germany then :

Option I  –  Work Visa


  1. Your qualification needs to be validated. The nursing qualification obtained in your country of origin

must be recognised in Germany. To this end, the authority responsible for your case will check whether

your qualification is equivalent to German qualifications. If this is not the case, you can take an assessment test or a conversion course, in order to prove an equivalent level of knowledge. The application for professional recognition can be submitted to the responsible authority in the state in which you intend to work. The German professional recognition obtained is valid nationwide. For that

your documents are required to be translated by a licensed translator.  Then that needs to be attested by the German  Consulate.

2.  Simultaneously you need to get trained in the German Language.  You will have to have B2 level

proficiency in the German Language.

3.  You need to find out an employer who should sponsor you.

4.  Based the outcome you have received from the nursing council your training/employment starts

in Germany

Option II  –  Student Visa

An overseas Nurse trained outside European Union, in any case, need to get their qualification validated.   The German Language is a prerequisite to getting employed in Germany.  If you are a qualified nurse

you can move to Germany to learn German Language or for another course related to your field of study. During that period, you can study German Language and simultaneously get your qualification validated. And upon achieving B2 level proficiency you can become a registered nurse.

The most sought after program for B.Sc Nurses is  Health Care Management. Healthcare management is a field relating to the management and administration of public health systems. Graduates may have an

opportunity to work in roles that make a positive difference in the world. Professionals oversee the business side of medical facilities and organizations.

 By doing this program you may get employed  in the areas like  Business Administration, Health Care System, Economics, Human Resource Management and so on….. at hospitals, wellness centres, insurance companies, consulting