Dual System Apprenticeship Training

Dual or alternating training is done between the employer and usually a state institution i.e. VETA.
Dual training relies on strong co-operation between government institutions such as VETA and employers, ministry of education, ministry of labour, trade unions and employers associations. In Hamburg the Chamber of Crafts regulates and controls all apprentice training in that region of Germany to ensure the high quality of the training.

Advantages of Dual Apprenticeship System

  • practical-oriented training in the companies
  • faster job entry after the dual apprenticeship training
  • long-term benefits for the whole economy rather than individual companies
  • Supports employer’s investment in training schemes
  • Supports national/international, potentially mobile, skilled workforce
  • With proper institutional support mechanisms ensures training in a broad range of skills.
  • the apprentice is a paid employee and more motivated to learn fast

Format and Structure

After 4 years the 3- year block release apprenticeship format is functioning extremely well and all partner companies are extremely satisfied with the quality of training.

Each year is evenly divided up into On the Job and Off the Job block releases (See layout calender below). At the VETA centres 3 Block releases/year, each of a number of weeks totaling 20 weeks/year, amounting to a total of 9 block releases over the full 3 years of the apprenticeship.

The apprentices are engaged by the companies under contract for the duration of the apprenticeship and are obliged to keep them at least until their training is complete, provided the apprentice(s) behave accordingly. At the end of the apprenticeship the company is free to release the apprentice, but the apprentice is obliged by contract, to remain with the company for a minimum of 2 years.

The companies agree to pay a monthly allowance to each apprentice during all the On (In VETA) and Off The Job blocks of training.

Since May 2013 apprentices have completed a number of VETA Off-The-Job blocks and a number of company On-The-Job blocks. The first apprenticeship began with an initial 7 week block at VETA.

Qualifying as a Craftsperson

  • Dual Apprenticeship Training offers many advantages for both the apprentices and the companies:
  • It is an entry into the labour market for young, inexperienced people. In Germany, youth unemployment is only approx. 8% compared to an EU average of almost 23%.
  • Working and training closely with qualified tradespersons ensures that the apprentices will acquire the practical skills that are needed in the labour market.
  • In addition to gaining professional skills, the apprentices also learns company values and work ethics which will help in their future professional career, while at the same time providing the companies and the industry as a whole, with a reliable mobile skilled workforce.
  • Dual apprenticeship training increases the productive performance of the apprentices, and relieves the companies of some of their training burden.

The Role of VETA

As the national vocational training authority, VETA is at the center of the development of a skilled workforce. Its role as a partner in the apprenticeship training is to ensure that the institutional training will be comprehensive and in accordance with the demands of the companies. Its responsibilities include:

  • Providing qualified trainers.
  • Ensuring that the training workshops are equipped and maintained to facilitate quality practical training for the apprentices.
  • Ensuring that consumable training materials are available at all times.
  • Focusing on skills to work.
  • Teaching only trade relevant theory.
  • Providing tuition in English and basic computer skills relevant to the profession.
  • Ensuring that training opportunities are unbiased particularly concerning gender. So far the auto mechanic course has 2 female apprentices, electrical has 3 female apprentices and hospitality has 8 female apprentices.


A final examination will take place at the end of the 3 years of training. This examination will be predominantly practical in nature but with some theoretical papers for understanding purposes. The apprenticeship course is designed to equip the apprentices with the skills to work in their profession of choice. The examination must comprehensively test these skills. A national Skilled Trades Certificate will be awarded to all apprentices who successfully pass the final examination, but completion of all the On and Off-The-Job blocks is a prerequisite to entry into the examination.