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A-B-C for apprentices

Definitions related to training

What is “training-related assistance”? Where can my child get a “certificate of good conduct”? Does my child have to do overtime during training?

The A-B-C for apprentices is a lexicon on the Federal Employment Agency’s planet-beruf website which explains the most important terms related to the rights and duties of apprentices from A – Z.

You will find an excerpt from it on this website. Should you require more information on this topic, you can use the planet-beruf website (in German). You will find the link in the right-hand column.

Act on the Protection of Young People at Work

If your child is not yet 18, he/she falls under the Act on the Protection of Young People at Work (Jugendarbeitsschutzgesetz). He/she enjoys particular protection from the law. He/she has a right to one hour’s break per day, for instance. Your child is naturally also entitled to a certain number of days’ leave. You will find the wording of the Act here: Act on the Protection of Young People at Work.

Additional qualifications

Your child can obtain additional qualifications in addition to training in the company and their lessons in vocational school. These are further training and courses over and above what is prescribed in the Training Code. These include language courses, a computer licence or knowledge of business studies.

Block lessons

In dual training, your child learns both in a company and in the vocational school. Vocational school lessons take place as a rule on one or two days per week. In some training occupations vocational school lessons are however carried out in several blocks of between two and three weeks.

Certificate of good conduct (Polizeiliches Führungszeugnis)

Some training companies require your child to bring along a certificate of good conduct on their first day at work. This is a certificate from a federal authority on previous convictions which can be obtained from the municipal or local administration.

Duration of training

The duration of the training with recognised training occupations is as a rule between two and three-and-a-half years, depending on the form of the training and on the school-leaving qualification. The higher the school-leaving qualification is, the better is the chance to shorten the training, but it must be a minimum of two years. Your child has to consult the company with regard to possibly shortening the training. The duration is recorded in the training contract.

Duty of confidentiality

Confidential matters are part of industrial secrets. This applies in any company, and your child is obliged to keep industrial secrets to themselves, and may not reveal these to third parties.

Examination

As a rule there is an interim and a final examination in each training occupation. The interim examination is intended to ascertain the state of the training. Your child can then see in which areas he/she still needs to learn more. Your child is entitled to be released to attend the examinations. For the final examination, the company even has to release your child on the day before the examination.

Housing benefit

Under certain preconditions your child is entitled to a housing benefit during training if he/she has his/her own home during training and does not receive, and would not be entitled to, education assistance (BAföG), a training allowance or a vocational training grant. Your child must apply for housing benefit from his/her local authority or municipality.

Leave

The leave days during training are regulated by the training contract. If your child is under 18, he/she is entitled to a specific number of days’ leave. The Act on the Protection of Young People at Work states as follows: For apprentices under the age of 16, the statutory minimum leave must be at least 30 days, at least 27 days at 17, at least 25 days at 18 and at least 24 days when they are over 18.

Medical examination

Each young person must be examined by a physician before starting their training. The examination may not have taken place more than 14 months ago. Your child must present the examination certificate to the company on the first day of training. The company is not allowed to train your child without the examination.

Obligatory attendance at vocational school

Your child is obliged to attend vocational school during training. Depending on the training occupation, courses in vocational school take place on one or two days per week or as block lessons. Block lessons means several weeks of lessons in a block, several times per year. The grades and the report from the vocational school are just as important in training as performance in the company. Apprentices are released from the company to attend vocational school.

Overtime

If your child has not yet come of age, he/she may not as a rule do any overtime. This can however sometimes not be avoided. This overtime must be compensated for as time off, and may not be more than 30 minutes per day.

Probation period

The probation period is recorded in the training contract and is between two and four months as a rule. During this period, the training company examines whether your child is suited to the job. Your child can be dismissed at any time during the probation period without stating grounds. Equally, your child can give written notice at any time.

Protection at the workplace

Your child must adhere to the safety regulations at the workplace. It may be obligatory in some companies to wear protective clothing or to remove jewellery. It is best if your child asks about this before their first day at work.

Report

As in school, your child will receive an interim and a final report from the vocational school. After passing the final examination, there is a report from the vocational school, the IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce) or HWK (Crafts Chamber) and a training report from the company. Your child should take good care of these reports since they are important for future applications.

Report book

In many vocational training courses your child has to keep a report book in which your child describes what he/she has learned during the training. A complete report book is a precondition for the final examination. The trainer provides the necessary material and allows time to write the reports.

Sick notes

If your child is ill, the company must immediately be informed by telephone when work starts in the morning. It is best if your child or you telephone the trainer or the personnel office. It is important for the company to know approximately how long your child will be ill. Most companies require a sick note from the doctor on the third day of illness at the latest. The precise formalities should be in the training contract.

Social insurance card

Every employee receives a social insurance card from their pension insurance institution. This confirms that they are legally registered. Your child’s health insurance company has this card issued on commencing training. Your child must take it along on his/her first day at work or let the company know his/her social insurance number. This number can be found on the social insurance card.

Termination

Your child can give written notice at any time during the probation period without stating grounds, and can be dismissed. The duration of the probation period is stipulated in the training contract. It is between two and four months as a rule. The periods of notice stated in the training contract apply after the probation period. The four-week legal notice period applies if the contract does not stipulate any periods of notice. Termination must be in writing.

Training allowance

The training allowance is regulated by the training contract and is transferred monthly to the account stated in the contract. Your child should open an account of his/her own for this. If your child is aged under 18, the bank needs your signature to open the account.

Training contract

Your child should read through the training contract attentively before signing it. You will find more details on the training contract here.

Training Code

There is a Training Code for each recognised training occupation stipulating what has to be learned during the respective training. This ensures that all apprentices acquire the same vocational abilities, skills and knowledge.

Training materials

Training materials include tools, supplies, books or drawing and writing material. Sufficient quantities of material are provided by the company free of charge. The apprentice is obliged to treat it carefully. Your child has to buy his/her own material for the vocational school.

Training plan

The training plan and the content of the training are stipulated in the training contract. As a rule, the content is broken down according to the training years. The company is obliged to adhere to the training content. What training content is to be imparted is stated in the Training Code which exists for each recognised training occupation.

Training-related assistance (Ausbildungsbegleitende Hilfen)

Your child may claim “training-related assistance” (abH) during training and attend free remedial lessons. Your child can apply to the vocational guidance service at his/her Employment Agency for training-related assistance.

Vocational training grant

The vocational training grant (Berufsausbildungsbeihilfe – BAB) is to provide financial support for the first training course. This must take place in a recognised training occupation, either in-company or extra-company. Your child may also be able to obtain a vocational training grant for pre-vocational training programmes (Berufsvorbereitende Bildungsmaßnahme – BvB) under certain circumstances. Your child however only has a right to a vocational training grant if he/she can no longer live in your home because the training company is too far away. You can apply for the grant from your Employment Agency. The a vocational training grant calculator (BAB-Rechner) will show you whether your child is entitled to a vocational training grant.

Working hours

Your child’s daily working hours are set out in the vocational training contract. If your child is aged under 18, he/she may not work for more than eight hours per day and 40 hours per week in accordance with the Act on the Protection of Young People at Work (Jugendarbeitsschutzgesetz).

Work/physical work

All tasks with which apprentices are entrusted must serve the purpose of training and be in line with the physical abilities of young people. Young people aged under 18 may not carry out any dangerous work, i.e. work involving the risk of an accident or a hazard to health, unless they are supervised when doing so. The duty of supervision also applies if the work with dangerous materials or risk situations constitutes a part of the training.

Date 1 June 2012