Training – what now?

Being taken on after training means that the company you trained with would like to employ you. You would be earning a regular trained worker’s salary. If you are taken on, you would be entitled to more unemployment benefit if you were to later lose your job. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee you will be taken on after your training. In some industries, employment after training for six or twelve months is part of the tariff contract. Get in touch with your works council or staff council, JAV or union to find out more.

If you are not taken on by your employer, you must register as a job seeker 3 months before the end of your training by declaring your situation to your local Ministry for Work in order to avoid sanctions to your unemployment benefit. As a trainee insured by the social security system, you will be able to claim primary unemployment benefit.

You are eligible for primary unemployment benefit if you were employed or in training subject to social security contributions in the last twelve months before becoming unemployed. The amount of primary unemployment benefit you receive is approx. 60 percent of your last net income (or approx. 67 percent if you have children). If this is not enough for you to live off, you can also apply for secondary benefits (Hartz IV) to top up your income. Unfortunately, there are a lot of limitations for young people – you will not be entitled to housing benefit if you move out of your parent’s house without permission while claiming Hartz IV. The “Unemployment after Trainingflyer contains more information; you can download it from

Your youth union offers tips for creating your CV and applying to new companies. Before you sign a new employment contract, you should have it checked by your union so that there are no nasty surprises in the “fine print”. Other than finding a job, there are other options. You could take a voluntary social or ecological year out, or enrol in further education.

As of 1st July 2011, federal volunteering means that men and women can contribute to the common good. Once you’ve completed your education and training as required, you can generally volunteer for twelve months (it is also possible to volunteer for between six and 18 months, or even 24 months in some cases) in a charitable organisation.

Another option is to take a voluntary social or ecological year out. Once you’ve completed your education and training as required, and as long as you are under 27 years of age, you can become a volunteer for twelve months, or between six and twelve months.

If you take part in federal voluntary work or a voluntary social or ecological year out, you are not paid, but receive a kind of “pocket money” up to the sum of 372 euros. Many voluntary agencies also provide work clothing, food or even accommodation.

After your training, you can also study. You can only study if you have your Abitur qualifications. Under certain conditions (e.g. many years of on-the-job experience), you may also qualify for a vocational Abitur.

  What can you expect from a vocational Abitur?