In demand: employees with vocational qualifications
In Germany, it is not always necessary to attend an institution of higher education in order to attain a vocational qualification. For EU citizens with a vocational qualification that is recognized in Germany, employment prospects are currently good. Indeed, the demand for certain skilled vocations is now higher than the need for graduates. At present, there is a particular demand for technical vocations such as mechatronics technician, fitter, and plumber. Similarly, there are currently a large number of vacancies for nurses and geriatric nurses.
Shortage of caregivers in Germany
Due to the increasing number of elderly people, the need for caregivers in Germany is also increasing. It is predicted that there will be a shortage of up to 152,000 caregivers in 2025. But hospitals and nursing homes are already complaining of personnel shortages today. There is a particular demand for geriatric, health and nursing professions. For every qualified geriatric nurse, for example, there are three positions currently needing to be filled. Germany currently offers a variety of employement opportunities for nursing professionals. Nursing personnel are needed not only in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and health centers, but also in home care services and doctor’s offices. Apart from basic nursing, nursing tasks in Germany also include such things as preparing patients for medical procedures or monitoring patient health. Nursing personnel in Germany also have access to numerous advanced training options, such as courses leading to a particular qualification or training as a business administrator.
Recognition of foreign vocational qualifications
Each country has its own specific system of vocational training. For this reason, there are often differences in the length of training and the qualifications thereby attained. In many cases, therefore, vocational qualifications acquired in a foreign country are not directly comparable with those awarded in Germany. Nevertheless, many German companies still prize the know-how, foreign-language skills, and professional networks of skilled employees from abroad. As of April 2012, people with foreign vocational qualifications are legally entitled to apply to the German authorities for verification that vocational training completed abroad corresponds to a German qualification. Further information on the procedure can be found at www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de.
Information for employers is available at www.bq-portal.de (German). Please note, however: The recognition of a foreign vocational qualification does not automatically authorize you to practice your vocation in Germany. A residence permit that allows third-country residents to be employed in Germany will only be issued if certain conditions are met. The Quick Check lets you assess your prospects for working and living in Germany.
The training system in Germany
Vocational training enjoys an excellent reputation in Germany. The country’s dual system of vocational training and education combines on-the-job training at a company with a parallel course of study at a vocational school. German companies customarily employ not only graduates but also large numbers of people with vocational qualifications. Many people who have come through the dual system go on to pursue further training in order to attain, for example, the German qualification of “Meister/in” (master craftsman) or “Techniker/in” (engineering technologist). Master craftsmen are qualified to head a team in their company of employment or to run their own business in their chosen vocation. Engineering technologists perform complex tasks in the fields of product development and production management, head production facilities, or work as lecturers at technical colleges.
Information on this portal
Guide to "Working in Germany"
Getting off to a good start in Germany
Prospects in Germany
Germany’s labour market is strong, thanks to a skilled workforce
Professional Qualifications: Everybody needs to know what you can do
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