Vocational Education and Training in Germany

The German system of vocational education and training is deemed to be the backbone of German economy. The presentation below gives a first impression of how it works, the diagram explains the German educational system and shows where the vocational training comes in. The Vocational Training Act provides the legal framework for the training. Around 60 % of the graduates each year decide to build their career paths on vocational training.

Further information on vocational education and training in English language is available on the following websites:



German Embassy "Skills Initiative"

Everyone benefits from Vocational Training

Benefits for enterprises and trade unions:

  • Influence on content and organization of training
  • At medium-term: low recruitment costs
  • Next generation of skilled workers assured

Benefits for trainees:

  • Labor market relevant training leads to excellent job perspectives
  • Acquisition of social skills within the real life of a company
  • Motivation by getting training fees (earning and learning)

 Benefits for the government:

  • Private contribution eases the burden on public budgets


  • Approx. 350 nationwide recognized training occupations (270 in the field of industry, trade and services)
  • Two out of three young people in Germany in VET
  • Around 1,5 million trainees, 560,000 new contracts per year
  • Approx. 500,000 companies providing training
  • Approx. 336,000 vocational training instructors only in the field of industry, trade and services
  • Over 160,000 professional experts work on a honorary basis in the examination boards of the CCIs
  • German businesses spend € 23 billion per year on vocational training
  • Gross costs of a trainee per year: € 15,300