In the German apprenticeship system the training companies finance the in-company training. The Federal States fund the vocational schools (mainly teaching staff salaries) and the local authorities equipment and infrastructures. The Federal Government finances measures for the improvement and promotion of the apprenticeship system.


The companies participate voluntarily in apprenticeship training and bear its costs. If a company refrains from providing in-company training it has no levies to pay. Only in the construction sector all companies finance a branch training fund that benefits training companies. There are frequent calls – especially from the unions – to extend this model to other branches or to introduce a general training levy.

Public funds

Public funds are allocated by the Federal Ministries of Education and Research, Economic Affairs and Energy, Labour and Social Affairs, the German Federal Employment Agency and the Federal States. Those expenses are linked to the development, improvement, execution and promotion of apprenticeship, e.g. over support programmes or measures for guidance and counselling.

Inter-company training centres and chambers

Inter-company training centres are financed by the Federal Government, the Federal States, the responsible chambers or out of the branch-specific fund in case of the construction sector. The chambers obtain their funding through the dues of the compulsory member companies.

Training levy in the construction sector

Based on a decision of the social partners the construction sector introduced a training levy in 1976. All companies of the sector have to pay the levy. The amount is settled in the collective bargaining agreement. The levy is used to finance all inter-company training and a large part of the in-company training.