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Navigating the labour market

October 7, 2015

It is not easy to find your way around in a foreign country. Here are some different ways you can gain initial practical experience on the German labour market.

construction worker on construction side

Many initiatives, chambers or associations as well as businesses provide local career guidance. This could be a way for you to show what you already know and gain experience. Asylum seekers and tolerated persons can already generally begin employment three months after registration. They may, however, only take up work after they have been permitted by the foreigners authority and it has noted this in the certificate of permission to stay or tolerated status.

You can do this in various ways:

  • As an intern, you are the ‘guest’ of a company and do not require consent from your local foreigners authority.
  • In a career orientation internship you can get hands-on experience with the kind of work involved in various university or vocational training courses. For this you need permission from the local foreigners authority. If the orientation internship does not last more than 3 months, however, the procedure can be facilitated.
  • If you are looking to engage in community service, the Federal Voluntary Service or a year of community volunteer work is the right place for you. This is primarily where you can get to know about social welfare activities, but you will also need permission from the local foreigners authority.
  • Additional practical traineeships not for the purpose of career guidance or lasting longer than three months are also possible, but are subject to the normal requirements for access to the labour market.
  • There are also other ways to find a suitable career. For further information, see Getting help.