Förderprogramm "Integration durch Qualifizierung IQ"

FAQ – Vocational Training

What different types of vocational training are there?

Dual education

  • 3-4 days: practical vocational training in the company under the supervision of your trainer
  • 1-2 days: theoretical education at the vocational school
  • On average, the vocational training lasts 3 years

Company-wide vocational training

An extension of in-company vocational training: you receive training in external workshops or in other companies.

External vocational training

The vocational training does not take place at a vocational school, but at another educational institution.

This means that you carry out practical exercises in a kind of school.

This form of vocational training can be an alternative option if you are unable to find a company to do your vocational training in.

School education

There are also a few purely school-based vocational training courses in technical or social fields, in foreign languages or in healthcare.

Here you only learn in vocational schools/vocational colleges.

As a rule, however, you have to do a company internship during your vocational training.

Examples of:

  • a technical field: medical-technical assistant
  • a social field: preschool teacher
  • a foreign language field: foreign language correspondent
  • healthcare: geriatric nurse


What do you need to know about your vocational training contract?

Before you start your vocational training, you have to conclude a contract with your company (which will be training you).

This vocational training contract must also be registered with the vocational training chamber or guild.

The contract contains:

  • Aim and procedure of the vocational training
  • When the vocational training starts and how long it lasts
  • Where the vocational training will take place
  • The trainer
  • Regular daily working times
  • The duration of the probationary period
  • Trainee pay and additional benefits (salary and other payments)
  • Yearly annual leave
  • Termination conditions
  • References to collective agreements and company agreements

Please note: during the probationary period (maximum 4 months), both sides (you and your employer) can always terminate the contract without notice or reason.


How much will you earn during your vocational training?

Your vocational training contract states the salary you will earn during your vocational training. If there is a collective agreement in force in the company you are completing your vocational training with, your salary is also determined in this. If you concluded your vocational training contract after 2020, the monthly minimum pay or wage (minimum amount of money you receive) applies to you.

Current statutory minimum pay:

1st year of vocational training: 649 Euros gross/month

2nd year of vocational training: 766 Euros gross/month

3rd year of vocational training: 876 Euros gross/month

4th year of vocational training: 909 Euros gross/month

How do you get support during your vocational training?

1. Financial assistance

If you don’t get enough money during your vocational training, you can apply for financial assistance.

You can apply for vocational training assistance from the employment agency.

Please note: receiving this assistance depends on your residence status. If you are unsure what your options are, contact your Fair Integration advice centre!

2. Help with problems!

There are usually liaison teachers at vocational schools who are available as people to contact.

You can talk to them about your problems, including problems at work/in the company.

If you have problems understanding things in class, you can also get vocational training support.

3. Vocational training support

If you have any problems during your vocational training there are places where you can get help.

If you are struggling with a subject, you can get extra tuition.

If you have problems at work, you can get support.

You can apply for vocational training support from the employment agency or job centre.

4. Assisted vocational training

With assisted vocational training, you and your company receive support and guidance from start to finish.

This aims to help trainees successfully complete their training. You will be assigned what is known as a vocational training mentor for this purpose.

The employment agency or job centre commissions an educational provider to supervise the vocational training. This provider supplies the assistant.

What can make it easier for you to get started with your vocational training?

There are state measures to help you.

1. Entry-level qualification

For refugees, people with residence permit/tolerated status who are not banned from working. You can work in a company for 6 - 12 months to get to know the job. The employment agency or job centre can arrange entry-level qualification for you.

Please note: the minimum wage does not apply to this programme. You will only be paid an amount of 216 Euros by the employment agency.

2. Pre-vocational training measures

This programme is designed to prepare you for a vocational training course. It is designed to help you find a suitable job or career.

The programme includes various internships and lessons in a school. It is also possible to complete the German Hauptschulabschluss (secondary school leaving certificate). Pre-vocational training measures can be funded by the employment agency or job centre. These measures are then free of charge.

What is a record booklet (Berichtsheft)?

In dual vocational training, you have to keep a record booklet: The contents of your vocational training are entered here. This is the written proof of your vocational training.

Every week you need to write down what you have learned. Your trainer checks the booklet and signs it.

Please note: you will only be admitted to the final examination if you have a complete record booklet.

So you should always fill it out. You can also fill it out during your working hours; this is stipulated in the vocational training regulations. Your trainer is not allowed to make you fill out the booklet during your free time.

What rights do you have during vocational training?

You also have rights while you are doing your vocational training. You have the right to be treated with respect. Mistakes can happen, after all, you are still learning.

There is also a vocational training framework plan: It tells you exactly what you need to learn and when. You have the right to ensure that this plan is adhered to. This means that your trainer is not allowed to simply give you things to do that have nothing to do with your vocational training. You can defend yourself against this.

You also have the right to protective clothing/appropriate equipment if this is necessary for the occupation you are training for.

If you are unsure what your rights are or you are being treated badly, you can get help:

  • You can go to the works council (Betriebsrat) or the youth and trainee representation (Jugend- und Ausbildungsvertretung, JAV).
  • Or you can contact a liaison teacher at your vocational school or your Chamber of Crafts/Chamber of Trade.
  • You can also contact your local trade union (if you are a member).
  • You can also contact your Fair Integration advice centre. 


Do you have to work overtime during your vocational training?

If you are already of age (18 years or older), you may work overtime in exceptional cases:

Instead of 8 hours, you may also work 10 hours as a one-off. This overtime must be compensated for the following week. Overtime can also be included in your employment contract/collective agreement. Then you have to work overtime even as a trainee. But never all by yourself, your trainer must supervise you and be in the company.

Stricter rules apply to minors (under the age of 18):

They are only allowed to work a maximum of 8.5 hours a day in exceptional cases. This time must then be compensated for on another day of the week.

What can you do against a termination?

When your probationary period has successfully ended, you can only receive extraordinary termination (without notice). This means that you have behaved badly, for example if you have frequently been absent from work without a reason or if you have stolen something. If you receive extraordinary termination and you have not done anything wrong, you can defend yourself! Get advice from your Fair Integration advice centre.

What is an "Ausbildungsduldung” (tolerated stay permit for vocational training)?

If your residence status is only a "Duldung” (tolerated), you can get a tolerated stay permit for the duration of your vocational training. During this time you can stay in Germany and complete your vocational training. Once you have completed your vocational training, you can apply for a residence permit for 2 years.

Please note: this is only possible if you continue to work in the profession in which you completed your vocational training.

To do this, you have to:

  • Have a substitute passport
  • Have sufficient living space
  • Prove that you have sufficient knowledge of the German language (B1).

Please note: if you want to change your vocational training place with a tolerated stay permit, you can only do this once.

You will be given 6 months (tolerated stay) to find a new vocational training place. You must apply to the Foreigners' Registration Office for a tolerated stay permit for vocational training. You need to already have a vocational training place for this, but it also depends on your residence status.

Can you get a tolerated stay permit for vocational training?

1. You can get a tolerated stay permit for vocational training if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your asylum application was rejected, but you have a tolerated stay permit
  • When you submit the application, you must already have a tolerated stay permit for at least 3 months.

2. You can get a tolerated stay permit for vocational training if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are in the asylum procedure and in vocational training.
  • After your asylum application has been rejected, you want to continue your vocational training. Then you can also apply for a tolerated stay permit for vocational training if your asylum application is rejected.

Please note: there are also reasons why a tolerated stay permit for vocational training is not granted:

  • If you are generally prohibited from working
  • If your identity has not been established


Are you allowed to change the company you are completing your vocational training at (with a tolerated stay permit for vocational training)?

Trainees are only allowed to change the place of their vocational training once.

If you are looking for a new place, you will receive a tolerated stay permit for 6 months.