Years 1-6 are for everyone. Then either:
- 3 years of Realschule
- 3 years of Sekundarschule
- 6 years of Gymnasium (where one earns the possibility to go to Uni)
Though it is quite normal to upgrade from Sek to Gymi 2 years in.
The first two options are then followed by an apprenticeship (3-4y) during or after which one can also earn the ability to go to Uni, with some limitations. These limitations can be removed by upgrading that piece of paper, which takes a year.
Complicated and I’m sure I forgot a few things. Point is that there are many paths and upgrading is quite possible.
Also having a large part of the population trained in a trade Is fantastic.