Germany’s Qualification Opportunities Act: Who benefits from it?
Offered since the beginning of 2019 as part of the German government’s “qualification offensive”, the Qualification Opportunities Act subsidises training for employees. WBS Training explains what’s on offer, and how you can benefit from the scheme.
The German government introduced the Qualifizierungschancengesetz (Qualification Opportunities Act) in 2019 as part of a wider programme to offer additional training or retraining to employees who wish to improve their career and income prospects on the modern job market.
What does an employee need to thrive in today’s job market?
This is good news for everyone who is currently seeking to enhance their career standing. Whether you want to take your professional career to the next level or reorient yourself in a new industry, continuing vocational training is the key to achieving career success today, and to future-proofing yourself for the business world of tomorrow.
Digitisation and globalisation have triggered massive changes in almost all areas of daily life, and the modern job market is no exception: nowadays job applicants can be expected to demonstrate a whole range of skills, from intercultural competence and foreign language skills to IT, software and computer competencies.
This trend makes flexibility and the ability and willingness to commit to lifelong learning an absolute necessity - employees will need this if they want to keep pace with their competitors and gain important career and income advantages. Only with such skills will they successfully adapt to new developments and conditions in an ever-changing job market.
The Qualifizierungschancengesetz (Qualification Opportunities Act)
On January 1, 2019, the German federal government introduced the Qualifizierungschancengesetz (Qualification Opportunities Act). This law provided access to ongoing vocational training funding to a wider audience than ever before.
The Qualification Opportunities Act is the most recent and updated version of the German national qualification campaign, which was first launched in 2006 by the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) under the name WeGebAU (Weiterbildung Geringqualifizierter und beschäftigter älterer Arbeitnehmer in Unternehmen).
Originally, this subsidy programme only targeted low-skilled and older workers whose jobs were being threatened by digital technology. The Qualifizierungschancengesetz has however expanded this to include other target groups and now offers significantly more opportunities for companies to train employees - regardless of qualification, age and company size.
The objective of this funding programme is to make employees fit for today's and tomorrow's job market, to maintain individual employability in view of current and future employment-related challenges. These include - among others - demographic change, digital structural changes and the lack of skilled labour.
The benefit of this qualification campaign for both employees and companies is quite obvious: employees can keep their jobs or decide to take new job, career and income opportunities, while companies get to recruit more qualified workers.
How can I apply for funding under the Qualification Opportunities Act?
The application for continuing vocational training funding is an easy, step-by-step process. With WTS Training, employees benefit from professional assistance through the entire application process, from start to finish.
Make an appointment
First, you need to make an appointment with your local job centre or your nearest vocational education and training provider. During this interview you will get a detailed overview of the application process and learn more about the vocational funding requirements. Your adviser will identify the funding options that are open to you.
For continuing vocational training funding to be approved under the Qualification Opportunities Act, employees must fulfil a number of special requirements, for example:
- The employee cannot have completed vocational training within the last four years
- The employee should not have received any funding for training in the last four years
- The person must be employed subject to social security
- The employee must get the consent of their employer
On top of this, funding will only be given for training given by approved vocational education and training providers and vocational training courses which are certified according to AZAV (Akkreditierungs- und Zulassungsverordnung Arbeitsförderung). This is a nationally renowned German federal quality label for education and training.
Further training is possible on a full-time and part-time basis. The amount of funding depends on the age and qualification of the employees, the size of the company and the type of vocational training measure.
Start your training
Once your application has been submitted and accepted, you can start your vocational training!
Further training - benefits for companies
When continuing vocational training funding is granted by the German Federal Employment Agency, the employing company receives a subsidy for the costs of the training measure and for paying the employee’s wages while they are training, as follows:
- For companies with fewer than 10 employees: Up to 75 percent of the employee’s salary and up to 100 percent of the further training costs.
- For companies with 10 to 250 employees: Up to 50 percent of salary costs and up to 50 percent of training costs.
- For companies with 250 to 2.500 employees: Up to 25 percent of salary costs and up to 25 percent of training costs.
- For companies with more than 2.500 employees: Up to 25 percent of salary costs and up to 15 percent of training costs.
If you are interested in doing further vocational training but aren’t sure whether you would qualify for funding, you can contact WBS Training for detailed, personal advice. They can guide you through the entire application process.
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