Dual vocational training system

The dual vocational training system is the commonest form of vocational training in Germany.

Duale Ausbildung BMW
picture-alliance/Gebert - Duale Ausbildung BMW

The dual vocational training system is the commonest form of vocational training in Germany. “Dual” in this context means a combination of practical, on-the-job training and theoretical education at a vocational school, ensuring a proper balance of theory and practice. Some two-thirds of all gainfully employed persons working in non-academic professions have completed
vocational training under the dual system in the course of their education.


Depending on the profession, training lasts between two and three and a half years. On-the-job training is available for a whole range of jobs, including those in the craft sector, trade and industry and the service sectors, as well as for the self-employed and public service employees. Prospective trainees must first complete the relevant application process. The practical part of the training forms the basis of the dual system. Trainees generally receive on-the-job training three or four days a week, enabling them to acquire the practical or technical skills required in their particular job. In addition, trainees receive between eight and twelve hours of instruction a week at a vocational school. Instruction is divided into technical subjects specifically related to the respective job and general subjects such as German, political affairs and sport.


The training is co-funded by the participating companies, which pay the trainees a monthly wage, and the government, which covers the cost of instruction at the vocational school.

dual vocational training system