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The new qualification allowance from the Agentur für Arbeit

11th April 2024

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The new training allowance from the Agentur für Arbeit

A decisive step towards promoting professional development

In times of rapid technological change and structural changes in the world of work, continuous further training of the workforce has become essential for companies. In order to meet this need and support companies and employees in adapting to new professional requirements, the Agentur für Arbeit (federal employment agency) has introduced the qualification allowance. This new funding instrument supplements the existing measures to support further vocational training and offers an innovative approach to securing employability and coping with structural change.

Existing funding opportunities

Even before the introduction of the qualification allowance, there were ways of subsidizing the costs of further vocational training. The employment agency covered some or all of the course fees, depending on the size of the company. The subsidies are structured as follows:

  • Companies with fewer than 10 employees: up to 100% of the course fees

  • Companies with fewer than 250 employees: up to 50%

  • Companies with more than 250 but less than 2,500 employees: up to 25%

  • Companies with more than 2,500 employees: up to 15%

In addition, wages were subsidized during further training, with support also depending on the size of the company:

  • For fewer than 10 employees: up to 75% of remuneration

  • For fewer than 250 employees: up to 50%

  • For more than 250 employees: up to 25%

The qualification allowance: a new approach

The newly introduced training allowance differs significantly from the previous support measures in that it is an alternative option to these. It is aimed at companies that have set out a need for training for a significant proportion of their workforce as a result of structural change in a company-specific regulation or collective agreement. This applies to companies with at least 250 employees (20 percent of the workforce) or fewer than 250 employees (10 percent of the workforce).

Application and funding conditions

Under certain conditions, companies can apply for a training allowance, similar to the process for applying for short-time working allowance. The qualification allowance is intended to support continued employment in the company after a bottleneck has been eliminated. It covers 60% of the net salary difference of the employees participating in the training, similar to the regulations for short-time working allowance. Companies have the option of topping up the salary, but are not obliged to do so.

To be eligible for funding, the training program must comprise at least 120 hours and can be completed full-time, part-time or part-time. The training provider must also be AZAV-certified. It is important that the further training goes beyond purely job-related, short-term adaptation training and thus imparts a higher level of knowledge.

Significance and impact

The training allowance offers companies a strong incentive to invest in the further training of their workforce and makes it easier to finance these important measures. It helps employees to acquire new skills and expand their qualifications, which not only benefits their personal development, but also the competitiveness and innovative strength of companies.

By promoting adaptation to structural change, the training allowance helps to secure jobs and successfully overcome the challenges of digital transformation and other market developments. For employees, this means a valuable opportunity for professional development and job security in a changing labor market.

Conclusion

With the introduction of the training allowance, the Agentur für Arbeit is taking an important step to support companies and employees in times of change. Re- and upskilling are the appropriate keywords here. Supporting further training not only promotes individual skills development, but also helps to secure the future viability of the German economy. The qualification allowance is therefore a forward-looking measure that meets the needs of the economy and society in a time of continuous change.

Short-format IT bootcamps can be a great training opportunity for a career change into the tech industry, for example. Our Admissions Team will be happy to inform you about the options and funding opportunities.


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