The GDR had a well-developed system of initial vocational training, which sprang from the same roots as the dual system of education and training in the Federal Republic. Nevertheless, the economic problems in Eastern Germany and specific demographic trends led to considerable difficulties in the introduction of the dual system. These are recapitulated in the paper. At the same time the paper shows how a variety of tools and support measures have been used in an attempt to address these difficulties. Twenty-five years after reunification, new imbalances have emerged on the training place market, which are named at the end of the paper. Once again they require flexible responses.