Vocational education in Germany centres on the dual system of theoretical and practical training. In Saxony, as elsewhere, this is the basic means of meeting the demand for skilled labour.

The future economic success of almost every Saxon company pivots on training new staff and attracting suitable skilled workers. In many occupations, the dual system is an equally valued alternative to a university degree. This type of education is globally unique but an effective method, perfectly combining theory and practice.

#YOUR DECISION

Studying or a job? The three apprentices in our film have made their decision. One is becoming an animal keeper, the second a porcelain painter and the third a carpenter.

Martin Dulig, State Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport, is certain: “The question of how to attract and retain skilled workers has long since become a key issue.” Thorough training in a skilled occupation is very much on par with an academic education. That is exactly why it is especially important to the Saxon government to make the dual training system more attractive. “We need to change society’s views so that the great importance of dual vocational training for our companies is reflected in the public perception.” As a result, there are numerous funding instruments to support businesses and trainees undertaking their first vocational qualification.

Dual vocational training is an equivalent alternative to a degree. It is challenging, offers good job prospects and every opportunity for advancement. Martin Dulig, State Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport

What next after graduation? In Saxony, there are numerous opportunities for young people choosing an occupation. For many, the dual training system is a springboard to a successful career. Training is also beneficial for budding academics: many companies prefer applicants who have already had practical experience.

Learners who complete a VET course before studying can even skip the semester they would normally have to wait if their marks did not quite suffice for admission.

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Funding programme for collaborative training

Many small and medium-sized companies in Saxony find it difficult to train young people on their own – even though they urgently need the next generation of skilled workers. One solution is collaborative training. The Saxon government funding programme supports Saxon companies with up to 500 employees.
This means that training takes place in the company in association with a training partner. The collaborative partners help each other and at the same time ensure that their own apprentices enjoy high-quality training.
The funding is paid as a lump sum per trainee.

Photo credits: SMWA/David Pinzer

Assisted training in Saxony - helping trainees and businesses

Sometimes, obstacles or individual problems make it difficult for some young people to embark on their career. The beginning and end of the training process are especially intensive phases. Assisted training provides tailored support. It creates individual means of access to training, providing help, if required, until learners gain a standard occupational qualification, and avoiding dropout.
This benefits young people and businesses alike. The Federal Employment Agency has a statutory range of assisted training options, to which the Free State of Saxony has added its “Dual training first” funding programme.

Funding programme for inter-company vocational training

Skilled occupations in the trades, agriculture, forestry and housekeeping are in particular demand by Saxon companies. Today, however, these occupations are also especially varied and demanding. Smaller companies in particular often cannot cover the entire spectrum of the training regulations themselves. Thanks to inter-company training, businesses can meet the modern demands of the dual training system, promoting broader basic education and deepening the trainees’ specialist knowledge.
Inter-company training in the trades (ÜLU) and in agriculture, forestry and housekeeping (ÜbA) also benefits the companies where the training takes place, thanks to the trainees’ new technical know-how. This takes the burden off companies, encouraging many small businesses to train young people. The Free State of Saxony helps finance the courses and accommodation.