For: All Apprentices
Gear-Up English: 1.Year
Objective: Of course, for starting your apprenticeship you also have to go to a school. Learn more about the Lorenz-Kaim vocational school here in Kronach.
KMK Relevance: Describing particulary the educational part of your apprenticeship. (oral part)
About Vocational Education Training (VET)
The dual system is a part of the German education system. That’s organized as a cooperation between (mainly) small and medium sized companies and publicly funded vocational schools. The entire vocational education is regulated by law. The apprentices in the dual system typically spend a week (12 in total by a school year) at a vocational school and in between three to four weeks at their companies, or they may spend longer periods at each place before alternating. Dual training usually lasts two to three-and-a-half years.
Source: BMBF – „German Vocational Training“ [07:55 min.]
The Lorenz-Kaim Vocational School
The “Lorenz-Kaim School Kronach” is a vocational school for young professionals. Kronach is a small city in the northern part of Upper Franconia which is a region of Bavaria in Germany. The school is located in the eastern part of the city centre next to the city’s main cemetery.
An early form of this school was founded in 1846 as “Volkszeichenschule” (public painting school) by a local painting artist named Lorenz Kaim. His goal was to bring painting skills to young people by setting up a kind of college with a focus on extensive practical work. While steadily growing, it continuously underwent some structural reforms and integration of other types of job education. Because the old site was getting too small, it moved into completely new buildings at the current location in 1966. In 1983 it was finally renamed after the founder.
In the year 2020, about 1600 apprentices were enrolled in this school. They are educated by about 52 full-time teachers and 20 part-time tutors. In the school’s office, three office clerks organize the administrative affairs and two janitors are responsible for the technical maintenance. Currently, Mr. Schirmer is the headmaster (or principal) and he is backed up by Mr. Zahner as his deputy headmaster. The director of the electronic department is Mr. Kögel, responsible for organizing seven teachers’ daily work and timetables.
On the school’s site you can find a main building with lots of classrooms, computer rooms, teaching kitchens, social care rooms and technical laboratories. A production hall includes car mechanic and industrial mechanic workshops. In a large hall, concerts can be held and sports can be practiced whereas a gymnasium and a sportsground can be used for sports. The central place to stay outside is an atrium with a water fountain.
Besides the electrical department, there are departments of mechanic and mechatronic technicians. Additionally, car mechanics, industrial office clerks, shop selling staff, bakers and hotel assistants get their vocational training here. This is achieved via partnerships with local companies that care for the more practical part. During a school year, apprentices have to stay for one week at school and for following two weeks at their home company as their regular schedules. In some of these training programs, it is possible to get a graduation degree that entitles them to visit a university of applied science afterwards. Other students do a university graduation (Bachelor or Master) in parallel.
Also, there is a two year fulltime education to get an assistant for child care, social care and becoming a housekeeping assistant. They do their practical work in social care organizations like a nursery or in hospitals. If young people hadn’t found a job yet, they can attend further programs like “JoA” to increase their chances in the job market.
A typical vocational training takes 3 ½ years. Electricians are educated in subjects like electrical theory, power distribution, control technology, communication technology and automation. They gain knowledge about a large variety of electrical devices and systems used in buildings and industrial production. In their last year they take their final exams at the chamber of industry and commerce – or alternatively – at the local chamber of commerce. After that, they are certified electrical technicians.
During the apprenticeship the company pays a usual salary between € 600,- and € 800,- a month. It is not necessary to pay any tuition of fee to go to school, which is unique in Europe!
A typical school day starts at 7:40 a.m. A lesson (class) takes 45 minutes. After ending the 3rd class, a first break for breakfast then takes 20 min. A longer break is for lunch, which starts at 12:30 o’clock and takes 45 min. The day ends latest a 15:30 o’clock if the timetable is completely booked, but this is usually not the case.
The school maintains international partnerships with sister-cities in Hungary (Kiskunhalas) and with schools in Cyprus. There are exchange programs for teachers and students to come and go at different periods of time. The LKS also has partnerships to universities of applied sciences in Hof and Coburg. The latest news about this matter can be read on the school’s website at (URL) www.bs-kronach.de.
10 Review Questions
… about 1600 in the current year.
This is Mr. Kögel
The school begins at 07:40 a.m.
He is the headmaster.
There’s a gymnasium and a sports field near the school.
That’s the main building (named „A“)
They do their final examination at the chamber of (industry and) commerce.
The breakfast break takes 15 minutes.
There are the universities of applied sciences in Hof and Coburg.
The money you get each month is called „salary.
If you get „wages“: That means you’re payed by hours or the number of pieces you produce.