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The new generalist care apprenticeship with the AWO

We answer the most important questions:

Why is there a new care apprenticeship?

As of 1 January 2020, three former apprenticeships have been combined into one: the apprenticeship in healthcare and paediatric care, the apprenticeship in healthcare and care of the sick, and the apprenticeship in care of the elderly. The aim of this reform or update is to make it possible to offer people who are interested in a career in the care sector a high-quality, broad-based and attractive apprenticeship. Until now, it has only been possible to train for these professions separately, even though there are many areas where the training overlaps. Now candidates can acquire a more general qualification and, after their three-year apprenticeship, can work in any area of the care sector. The official title for their qualification will then be „qualified carer“.

You can find all the key facts in our video (in German):


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FAQs on the new apprenticeship

Of course, care of the elderly is still a key area. The updating of the apprenticeship means, however, that trainees will get more insight into and practical experience of other areas of the care sector too. The apprenticeship starts off in one of our AWO care homes, where you will work with elderly people who require care. During the course of the apprenticeship, you will also do work placements in other areas of the care sector. But most of your time will be spent in your chosen AWO care home.

The key thing here is to get some experience! Not everyone will enjoy working in the care sector. But then again, not everyone wants to be a bank clerk either. If you are in doubt as to whether an apprenticeship to become a qualified carer is right for you, there are other ways to get some insights into the everyday activities of a carer. For example, by spending a year as a volunteer in the field of social welfare (Freiwilligen Sozialen Jahr (FSJ)) or with the Federal Volunteer Service (Bundesfreiwilligendienst (BFD), which would give you the opportunity to spend a year working in a care facility to find out whether you want to continue your career in the care sector. You can of course also do an internship in a senior citizens‘ care home or working for a mobile care service to find out whether your passion really lies in the care sector.

For an apprenticeship to become a qualified carer, you will need to have attended school for a minimum of ten years, i.e. you will need to have gained „Realschule“ or „Abitur“ school-leaving qualifications. You can also start the apprenticeship with a school-leaving qualification from a „Hauptschule“, provided you have also completed two years of training at a vocational training college, or have done a one-year training course to qualify as an assistant carer. There is no minimum or maximum age. You can also do the apprenticeship after having done a degree or another apprenticeship.

No. There are no costs involved in the apprenticeship. You will even receive a training allowance from the institution you will be doing your apprenticeship at. How much this is depends on the regional AWO association in question. What you earn in your region during the apprenticeship is listed under »What you will earn«.

It’s easy to apply directly to us via our Application Form and you can choose up to three establishments to apply to. On the form, you will find a list of all the establishments in your area. Alternatively, you can send your application documents to the care facility in question via e-mail or post.

Once you have submitted your application, your chosen establishment will get in touch with you. There is no need to worry if you don’t get an immediate reply. This doesn’t mean you have been rejected.

You will need two contracts before you can commence your apprenticeship. One contract will be with the establishment where you are going to do your apprenticeship and the other will be with the vocational school. But don’t worry! Both the care establishment and the vocational school will be happy to help you with this.

Since its foundation in 1919, the AWO has been an advocate of solidarity, tolerance, freedom, equality and justice. This is something that is reflected in the everyday work of the establishments run by the Workers’ Welfare Institution (AWO). Here, people work for and with people. You will be accepted as you are. It doesn’t matter what your skin colour, gender, sexual orientation or cultural background is. What’s important is that you care about people and about social welfare.

The AWO will take care of you and will support you on your path to establishing a career. Even after the apprenticeship, you will continue to be given encouragement and support by your employer.

After the second year of your apprenticeship, you have the option to specialise in care of the elderly. This would mean that, at the end of your training, you would be given the title „Carer for the Elderly“. You can find out from your training establishment how and whether you can specialise.

After completing your apprenticeship you can continue to work in geriatric care, but also in nursing or children’s nursing. There are also many further education and training opportunities available with which you can specialize or strive for a higher position.

Fields you can specialize in are e. g. pain therapy, palliative care or outpatient care. To get your career in the care sector started you can go for courses to become a care manager, ward manager or business economist in the healthcare sector.

You can also start an academic career after completing your training and study nursing sciences or nursing management.

You can find more about your prospects as a nurse under (German)

Of course you can become a care expert. The prerequisite for this is that you do your training in an AWO establishment. Speak to the manager of your training establishment to find out what the options are.

The new generalist care apprenticeship is supplemented by a degree in Care Studies for further professional qualification. This takes three years. On completion of your degree, you will be given the title Care Specialist along with your academic qualification. Your university training will open up further and new career options.  Your degree means that you are qualified for a diverse range of roles in the care sector.

If you want to enquire about the status of your application, please contact your chosen AWO establishment directly.