Apprenticeship Programs in Germany

The apprenticeship program is one of the main pillars of the educational system in Germany. Under the Act for Vocational Training, which the government signed in 1969, companies are challenged to provide enough vocational training positions each year to satisfy the high demand for skilled labour.

Apprenticeship programs are the main source for recruiting into technical positions in German companies. They guarantee a sustainable and highly qualified workforce for the future as we respond to the increasing age of our workforce. The content of the apprenticeship programs is defined by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Program Objectives

Dow’s manufacturing and engineering function in Germany is facing a serious challenge. In the near future, more than 500 employees will retire; 56% of Technicians in Manufacturing & Engineering (M&E) and Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) are older than 45. The apprenticeship program is the most important pipeline to fill the anticipated gaps that this aging workforce will create over coming years.


  • Ahlen
  • Bomlitz
  • Rheinmünster
  • Schkopau
  • Bitterfeld
  • Stade
  • Wiesbaden
  • Greppin


  • Production Technician
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Electrical Technician
  • Instrument Technician
  • Administrator

Program Structure

Duration: 3 to 3 ½ years

Dual system: Learning in school and at Dow

Learning on the Job: In the training center (Schkopau, Stade, Rheinmünster) and in plants on a rotational basis.

Learning in School: A combination of in-plant training assignments and training- center classes and exercises on a rotating basis.

Graduation: Normal graduation is after 3 ½ years (3 years for highly skilled apprentices). All exams must be passed:

  1. Exam: After second year (written exam)
  2. Exam: After 3rd or 3 ½ year (written exam)
  3. Oral and practical exam at the end of the apprenticeship.

Contract Type

During apprenticeship: Temporary/limited Dow contract.

After successful graduation: Permanent or temporary positions.
Job points after graduation: 67


  1. Sourcing: June/September
  2. Interviews: October
  3. Offers: November
  4. Onboarding: 1st September of the following year
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