Apprenticeships Around The World: Germany

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When it comes to apprenticeship programmes across Europe, they can vary quite a bit from country to country. However, many of them share quite a few similarities to British ones and that includes apprenticeship programmes found in Germany.

How similar are German apprentices in comparison to those in the UK? A lot more than you might think but they have their fair share of differences too.


Much like in the UK, the whole idea behind apprenticeship programmes is to help young people break into a profession which they’re aiming to make a living from. They are based largely around the ‘occupational concept’, designed to equip individuals with the correct skills to be able to work in their desired field.

It also serves to provide experience as well as social gratification to all apprentices who want to enter a specific vocation. It is an effective and popular pathway for many young people to start their careers. They, like British apprentices, also work towards a qualification in recognition for the work they’ve put in to complete their apprenticeship.


On some german apprenticeship programmes, the mix of school learning and working hours tends to vary. For example, in some engineering schools, the learning is mainly done in a classroom environment and are subsequently put on work placements.

In the UK, of course, the placement is usually throughout the entirety of the apprenticeship and apprentices tend to do their necessary coursework during their working hours. Either way, there is work involved at some point during the apprenticeship.

International Reputation

Germany is currently helping 18 other countries set up apprenticeship programmes of their own. BMW, for example, is helping Spain attain more engineer apprentices through the ¿Te gusta aprender? scheme.

Could the UK take some pointers for Germany? While it’s doubtless they have a good system, we think our apprenticeship schemes are good enough to stand on their own two feet and, at this moment in time, don’t need support.

If you’re interested in one of our apprenticeships, take a look at our apprenticeships page at GET.