Vocational careers are where you apply hands-on trade school experience in a professional environment. Currently, there is a big demand for skilled craft-and tradesmen in the following sectors (according to make it in Germany)
- Construction and development
- Metal and electrical industry
- Wood and plastics industry
- Property cleaning trades
- Artisanal food production
- Healthcare and personal hygiene trades
- Clothing, textile, and leather trades
- Graphic design trades
Also have a look at the other professions in demand (Nursing, Engineers, IT Specialists, Scientists and Physicians)
The new rules for the immigration of skilled workers to Germany came into force in 2020. You can view it here
Recognition of South African Vocational qualifications
If you completed your vocation training in South Africa, you may need your qualifications to be officially recognised. You can find information on the following websites:
- Anerkennung in Deutschland (Recognition of your training or experience)
- Make it in Germany – who needs recognition?
- Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
- Arbeitsagentur – Recognition of Qualifications
Finding a job in Germany
The make it in Germany website has excellent information about finding a job in Germany.
Other options include
- Applying directly at companies that are in your line of work, e.g Bosch, Daimler, BMW, Audi, Siemens, Liebherr. Also, consider smaller companies
- The Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)
- The Budesagentur für Arbeit or Arbeitsagentur – it the Federal employment agency, they have to approve all foreign job applications and can advise you on what you need for recognition
Vocational training in Germany
- If you have a job offer you can apply for an employment visa
- Have you applied to have your professional qualifications recognised and the competent authority for the recognition procedure in Germany has determined that your qualifications cannot be fully recognised due to missing qualifications? In such cases, you can attend a qualification program in Germany in order to acquire the missing theoretical and/or practical skills. Examples of this would be company training courses, technical training courses, preparatory courses or job-related German language classes.
To take part in these programs, you require a residence permit for the recognition of foreign qualifications (Section 16d AufenthG (German Residence Act)). More information on make it in Germany
- Job seekers visa – If you’re having difficulties searching for a job from abroad, you can apply for a residence permit that enables qualified professionals to enter Germany for the purpose of seeking employment in accordance with Section 20 (1) (2) AufenthG (German Residence Act). See more on make it in Germany
- If you received qualified vocational training, you can receive a residence permit (without the consent of the Federal employment agency) that enables you to obtain employment in Germany as a qualified professional. See sections 18a and 18b of the German Residence Act
One particular option is provided by the Skilled Immigration Act: Under specific conditions, companies are able to apply for an Accelerated procedure for the residence of Skilled workers from third countries. The purpose of this is to shorten the duration of the recognition procedure to two months.
Tip: Under certain conditions, you can enter Germany for 6 months after completing your professional training in order to search for a job. You can find out more at visa for jobseekers.