1. Preface

Dear Reader,

We are pleased to be able to welcome you to Germany. You can go to school here and start vocational training or study after leaving school. We hope that you get the chance to build yourself a new future.

As a youth organisation of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), we are committed to the rights of trainees and young workers in Germany. The DGB Youth and trade unions in the DGB help you by providing information on your rights in training and working life. Our affiliates are active in all sectors of the German economy and negotiate better wages and working conditions for their members. We support our members in conflicts with their employers, with advisory services or a lawyer.

In the tradition of unions, we are in favor of an open society and assist all men and women workers in Germany. We are non-partisan and independent: that is, we are not paid by the State, nor are we affiliated with a particular party. Every worker can be a member with us – regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

To help you quickly find your feet at school and at work, we have compiled the most important information for you. This brochure is divided according to the different steps that you have to take to successfully to complete your training. At the back there is a list of addresses where you can find further information, advice and help.

If you want to know more about particular topics, you will find links to further information in the text.

We wish you much success on your way

Sincerely, DGB Youth

2. The German school system