Initial Vocational Training

Every year, over 35,000 young people leave Berlin's vocational schools with a degree and good prospects for the labor market.

Berlin offers young adults who have completed their general education a broad spectrum of vocational courses of study and opportunities to earn a higher degree at a professional or vocational school or a post-secondary professional training center.

The advanced secondary vocational education centers (Oberstufenzentrum - OSZ) are a success story in the Berlin education system. The OSZ's are professional centers of expertise that unite the following kinds of schools under one roof:

  • Vocational college preparatory school (berufliche Gymnasien),
  • Vocational schools (Berufsschulen),
  • Full-time vocational schools (Berufsfachschulen),
  • Higher trade and technical schools (Fachoberschulen),
  • Higher vocational school (Berufsoberschulen),
  • Trade and technical schools (Fachschulen).

In the dual education system, learning happens both in the vocational classroom and through practical on-the-job training. In close cooperation with Berlin business and industry, the OSZ's implement the classroom education component for about 350 recognized occupations requiring formal training. Depending on their educational path and the vocational school they attend, students who have completed 10th grade can choose to earn a secondary school diploma, a diploma qualifying for entrance to a university of applied science, or a diploma qualifying for entrance to a university (Abitur). The latter can be obtained at a vocational college preparatory school, the advanced academic course at an OSZ and allows a student to enter any degree program at any university or other institution of higher learning.

Vocational schools in Berlin

The Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Industrie- und Handelskammer Berlin, IHK) offers an overview of education opportunities in Berlin and information about all recognized occupations requiring formal training.

Berlin's trade and artisan craft enterprises guarantee state-of-the-art vocational training. The skills and knowledge taught are tailored to market demands.

Berlin's "Vocational Training Days" (Tage der Berufsausbildung) is the largest education fair in Germany.