The trade corporation district of the Schwerin Chamber of Skilled Crafts covers the western part of the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It includes the State capital of Schwerin, the Hanseatic City of Wismar and the regional districts of Parchim-Ludwigslust, Nordwestmecklenburg-Wismar and the former district Güstrow.
Appoximately 7,700 skilled craft enterprises are currently active within the trade corporation district of Schwerin. The employees in trade & craft have reached the number of about 40,000 including registered apprenticeships.
The Chamber is run by a board of Directors. Members are the President (entrepreneur), two Vice-Presidents (1 entrepreneur, 1 representative of employees), and six further representatives (4 entrepreneurs, 2 representatives of employees). They all work on an honorary basis. Important decisions have to be approved by the General Assembly (18 entrepreneurs, 9 representatives of employees).
On the executive side; the General Manager heads five departments: internal administration and staff, business consultation, business registration, law and training. The full-time staff comprises of 82 people, four of which are apprentices.
The Education and Technology center of the Schwerin Chamber of Skilled Crafts
The Academy of the Schwerin Chamber of Skilled Crafts is first-class and deals exeptionally well with vocational qualification partners. Highly competitive educational centres have been established in this facility as well as service facilities. Investments have been made into ultra-modern equipment, appliances and workshops. As advisors and initiators of vocational qualification, the Academy offers a wide variety of tailor made educational courses.
The Academy is responsable for a wide network of proficient specialists and experts. It cooperates with the Guilds, District Trades and Trade Associations as well as with a multitude of institutions both at home and abroad, with technical colleges and universities.
Vocational training and Master Craftsman
The Master Craftsman's examinations are the most recognised and valuable titles within the skilled crafts sector in Germany.
Vocational training in the skilled craft sector consists of initial and further vocational training and retraining. Initial vocational training in the individual trade is based on a national training regulation. After a training period of 3 to 3.5 years, which is provided by both the skilled craft company and the vocational training school in the so-called "dual system" (part-time vocational school and in-company training), the young apprentice passes an exam to become a skilled worker.
To set up one's own craft business in any of the 41 trades, candidates have to pass the Master Craftsman's examination or have an equivalent qualification. To participate in advanced training, the applicant has to be a skilled worker with work experience. The examination covers practical and theoretical skills, legal and business administration as well as skills and knowledge in vocational training. Only those who have achieved Master Craftsman status or an equivalent status are entitled to set up their own businesses, take over a business from somebody else, and provide vocational training as an instructor for trainees in the company. People who have acquired the title Master Craftsman are entitled to study at higher education institutions such as Skilled Crafts academies or universities.