Vocational Education and Training in Germany

Structure of the German education system. Sources: KMK, 2012; Hippach-Schneider et al., 2007.

All children in Germany enter primary school (Grundschule) which in most of the countries covers grades 1 to 4. Following the primary school stage, secondary education in the countries is characterised by separating pupils into one of three main educational pathways and according to pupils’ school performance.

After completion of compulsory schooling, pupils move into upper secondary education. Available programmes include full-time general education and vocational schools as well as vocational training within the so-called dual system (a public-private apprenticeship system).

Higher education covers several types of tertiary education institutions and prerequisites either a higher education entrance qualification or a master craftsmen qualification or further education qualifications that are comparable to a master craftsmen qualification.

In terms of further education including continuing vocational education and training, there is a wide range of educational opportunities and qualifications available. A part of lifelong learning, this educational section has gained more importance during the past years.

Please find further information on: