Good training for a good job
If you have successfully completed school, you can make further plans for the future. If you are not or not yet eligible to study, inquire about possible vocational training. After all, in Germany there are 328 recognized training professions.
Training is worthwhile
It may seem attractive at first sight to look for a job immediately, instead of investing two to four years in an education. But in the long run you’re worse off without training: During training you will gain valuable knowledge and experience. Then, as a skilled worker you are not as easy to replace. Trained and skilled workers also earn significantly more than their unskilled colleagues. With an education, you will be able to get further qualifications later, take on new responsibilities and ascend in the company hierarchy. As you can see, training is really worthwhile.
German vocational training is internationally recognized
The German system of vocational training is internationally recognized. The program contents are uniformly regulated, so you know exactly what you will learn during your training. And companies also know what they can expect from trained professionals. This is especially important if you want to work in another company after your training. Depending on the profession, training lasts from two to four years. Most courses take place directly in the workplace, and are supplemented by teaching at a vocational school.
Access to training
Access to dual vocational training depends on your residence status. As a recognized refugee, you can start an apprenticeship without restrictions.
For Asylum seekers with a temporary residence permit, a waiting period of three months from submission of the application for asylum applies. Then you need a permit from the immigration office.
However, it may also be that a general work prohibition applies to you, e.g. if you still live in a reception center or come from a so-called safe country of origin. To find out if you are allowed to work in Germany, contact the Youth Migration Services or your social worker.
What types of training are available?
Dual training – also known as vocational training – takes place three to four days a week in a training workplace. Under the supervision of an instructor, you work directly at the workplace. You will learn everything you must know for your profession through practical application.
In addition, one or two days a week you go to a vocational school. There, the important theoretical bases are taught, but also labor and social legal knowledge and general socio-political issues.
Training regulations govern what skills and knowledge are to be acquired during the training, uniformly for all trainees for a particular profession. If a workplace cannot convey all the teaching content itself, integrated group training facilities are available that you visit together with other trainees.
During your training you will receive a training allowance from your training company. You may also be entitled to financial support.
If you can find a training place at a workplace, you can also conclude a training contract with an educational institution. This form of training is called external training. Many educational institutions are funded by the state. However, there are also commercial providers.
The program contents are the same as for in-company training. You learn theoretical and practical knowledge. However, the practical part is not directly at a workplace, but rather in the workshops, laboratories or training offices of the educational institution. In a work placement, you experience the processes at first hand in a real enterprise. The theoretical training takes place at the vocational school.
Even with external training you will receive a training allowance. This is also supported by the state. Under certain circumstances, you have also the right to further financial support.
Support during training
Perhaps you need help starting training or successfully completing it, e.g. because you still have problems with the language or learning. For this, the public Employment Agency offers educational support (abH) or assisted training (AsA). You can revise and consolidate what you have learned in small groups, or even be accompanied in your work at the workplace. You can get information on how to apply at the Employment Agency.
Studying at university or college
With high school graduation [Abitur], you have acquired a university entrance qualification. With it, you can apply for a place at any university. The vocational baccalaureate diploma [Fachabitur] entitles you to study at a technical college. Under certain conditions, study is possible even without high school graduation certificate, for example if you have already worked for several years in a profession. Inform yourself in the Ministry of Education site for your respective State.
Universities and colleges in Germany offer a wide range of courses. At universities, the focus is on scientific research. Courses at colleges, however, are more application-oriented and often associated with a mandatory internship.
Financing your studies
Even without financial support from your family, you can study in Germany. After a 15 months waiting period, recognized refugees are entitled to assistance from the Federal Training Assistance Act, the so-called BAföG. This will help cover your most important daily expenses. The maximum BAföG rate is 735 euros per month (from 09/2016) and will be paid to you for the normal study period. After your graduation, you have to gradually repay half of the funding.
For more information on BAföG and the application process, see www.bafög.de. There you will find the contact details of a counseling center near you. Universities also offer BAföG counseling. Students can also apply for a scholarship. Various foundations award funds to students who show professional aptitude and at the same time engage socially. The grant is based on the BAföG. The money does not have to be repaid. Scholarship recipients also often receive additional money for study abroad or for books.
The union-affiliated Hans Böckler Foundation offers refugees the opportunity to apply for a scholarship through the Böckler-Aktion Bildung. This requires a BAföG authorization. The guarantee fund university offers refugees a consulting service to clarify educational opportunities in Germany. On www.boeckler.de/bab.htm You can find out details about how to apply.