Vocational Training in Germany: One Solution, Dual Successes

The parallel vocational training system, which combines 2 to 3 hours of practical training at businesses and factories with 1 to 3 hours of theoretical instruction, is a highly effective educational model in Germany. This system not only meets the immediate demand for workers in the post-Covid-19 pandemic labor market but also addresses the long-term issue of population aging.

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Humanistic vision

As students study and work simultaneously, they receive a monthly net pay of around EUR 700-900. This amount is just enough to cover their living expenses. By the end of the 2-3 year apprenticeship program, students will have a professional degree and will be eligible to apply for full-time jobs with decent salaries compared to the average level in other European countries. Theoretical knowledge is immediately put into practice during practical sessions at the service facility. Through this approach, students gain a comprehensive understanding of how businesses operate and build a solid foundation for their chosen profession.

In Germany, there are approximately 325 recognized vocational training types, making it easy for students to find a course that matches their interests and abilities. Popular areas of study include sales, hotel and restaurant operations, medical care, and beauty. The combination of study and work provides students with excellent job prospects upon completion. In fact, about 2/3 of German students choose this parallel vocational training path. Additionally, several practical universities have been established to accommodate students who wish to start studying immediately.

During a visit to the Berlin Transport Company’s new training facility, German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz emphasized the importance of vocational training for individuals and the country’s future. The approach of combining work and study for several years is highly effective in creating a pool of qualified young professionals.

According to Prime Minister Olaf Scholz, it is crucial to encourage more young people to pursue vocational training because “vocational training is extremely important for Germany.” Attracting foreign students is also an essential aspect of the vocational training strategy.

Vocational Training in Germany: One Solution, Dual Successes
Students in Germany spend 1/3 of their time on theoretical instruction and the remaining time working at factories.

Expanding training scale

Currently, 40% of German businesses licensed for vocational training have recruited students from other countries. This number has significantly risen compared to previous years, indicating a growing trend of international students choosing Germany as their destination for vocational training.

The main reason for this increase is the surplus of training opportunities, especially in handicraft industries such as confectionery, food processing, construction, mechanics, animal husbandry, and farming. As of mid-2023, there were approximately 250,000 vacant vocational training positions while 137,000 students were seeking suitable training opportunities.

In response, German businesses and vocational schools are actively seeking new talent from abroad, particularly from developing countries. Vocational training regulations have become more flexible, and authorities have expedited the issuance of vocational visas to qualified individuals (those with B1 German proficiency, at least 18 years old, and an apprenticeship contract with a licensed training facility).

Opportunities for Vietnamese

Many establishments in Vietnam have established cooperation agreements to send vocational students to Germany under a parallel vocational training program. In an interview with the national television channel ZDF, Thao Tran, who is currently studying and working at a bread and pastry company in Thuringia state, expressed their enthusiasm for this training method and their desire to remain in Germany for work and further study.

Nguyen Viet, a 20-year-old from Ho Chi Minh City, made the decision to study the 1-year German B1 course in Hanoi. In early 2023, he arrived in Berlin to study and work in an Asian kitchen. He was delighted to secure a practice position at a Vietnamese restaurant located close to his relatives.

Le Phuong, a 30-year-old nurse from Vinh, proactively studied and passed the B2 German exam to pursue nursing studies in Berlin. After graduation, she quickly found a well-paid, full-time job. Gaining admission to a parallel vocational training program in Germany is not easy, as it requires students to have a good command of the German language. However, through diligence and a serious learning and practice process, almost all vocational students achieve a satisfying life in Germany.

Dang Minh Ly (Hai Dang translates)