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There are more than 40 million paid workers in Germany. Most of them have a professional qualificationor received an academic education, often both.
Ten years of education ata public school is mandatory. School attendance is exempt from charges, but public universities charge a tuition fee of a few hundred euros each term.
Germany is known for its well-functioning education system for young professionals. This is the so-called dual education (Duale Ausbildung). Here, trainees are taught both within the company and at a school related to their field of study, so on the one hand they get very practical training in companies, and on the other, a clearly defined framework of general and theoretical knowledge. This training generally lasts three years and concludes with a Chamber of Commerce (IHK) examination; a recognised vocational training qualification.
Another type of personal development involves a visit to one of the most affluent colleges or universities in the country. Apart from a few exclusive and expensive private universities, the others are mostly public universities which only charge a small fee. These academic institutions are open to everyone who has graduated from high school. There are usually limited university places at famous faculties or for coveted courses of study, e.g.medicine. Here, places are awarded based on the final grades from the previous school, and the operation of waiting lists. In addition, some institutions, such as art or music academies, require entrance examinations. Students can apply for financial support for the duration of their studies, which usually has to be repaid during their subsequent employment.
The quality of training for workers in Germany is comparatively high. Similarly, the German idea of conscientiousness and attention to detail contributes to the quality of German labour. However of course, like everywhere else in the world, there are good and bad workers. Good workers are the secret of a successful company. In Germany, there is intensive competition to attract the best brains. Typically, jobs are advertised on the Internet. There are also employment agencies, and expensive headhunters who are not really service providers but target the highly qualified positions.