Germany is renowned for its Handwerk. The good side being how Germany’s vocational training gives people a livelihood, trainees become experts and learning a good trade pays your bills without having a college degree.
The downside is the notorious lateness of Handwerker, and some jobs seem to take forever. Our bathroom had a burst pipe and it took eight weeks before we could take a shower at home again.
On the other hand, our last Handwerker, who came to fix our dryer, came equipped with an iPad, took photos of his work and I signed his work report on it, too. Wow! He was my first iPad Handwerker. Times are changing.
Speaking of times changing – in 1971, Germany had 606 Ausbildungsberufe (vocational professions) with the number dwindling down to 344 by 2007.
Politicians and Researchers ask for this number to be reduced even more. Having so many vocational professions, in today’s times, is costing the country a lot of money.
While going through the job training, trainees also have to attend the Berufsschule once a week. With professions getting more and more diversified, the cost of schooling them is rising while classes are getting smaller. We, the tax payers, make all this affordable.
Additionally, only certified businesses with a Meisterbrief (master craftsman diploma) can hire trainees.
Until 1971, trainees were called Lehrling (apprentice), which was then changed to Auszubildende(r), today’s politically correct term.
Back in my days and occasionally today, trainees complain about the little money they are earning. In Germany, the land of free education and vocation, many benefits are taken for granted.
One German dental trainee I had talked to was complaining about her low income while in training. I then informed her that in order to become a dental assistant, e.g. in the U.S.A. , she’d have to attend a dental college for six months and pay more than $ 20.000,- in tuition. This put things in perspective for her.
For a complete list of available vocational jobs, see Wikipedia.