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Unemployed? Get support to reenter the job market with an AVGS voucher

Unemployed? Get support to reenter the job market with an AVGS voucher

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Unemployed? Get support to reenter the job market with an AVGS voucher

Germany offers a number of support schemes to help unemployed people boost their skill sets and get themselves back into work. The Activation and Placement Voucher (AVGS) is one such scheme, providing coaching or training courses to job seekers, free of charge. WBS Training explains what you need to know. 

What is the Activation and Placement Voucher (Aktivierungs- und Vermittlungsgutschein - AVG)?

The AVGS (Aktivierungs- und Vermittlungsgutschein) is a government funding scheme, designed to support employees and job seekers to (re)enter employment. It is intended to reduce the unemployment rate in Germany by improving the process of placing unemployed people in suitable jobs. 

The AVGS is given in the form of a voucher, which can be used to pay for training courses or one-to-one coaching, or to engage a private recruitment consultant to help find you a position - with each measure lasting somewhere between six and eight weeks. These three aspects are sometimes referred to as the “three pillars” of the AVGS:

AVGS-funded training courses

One of the ways AVGS supports job seekers is by covering the cost of training courses to allow you to add extra skills to your toolkit. You can benefit from a wide range of further training courses to allow you to acquire valuable new knowledge over a short period of time - anything from SAP and CAD to accounting, management, or language courses. 

AVGS coaching

AVGS also lets you benefit from professional one-to-one coaching, sessions in which you set out your career goals and work out a plan to achieve them. Together with your coach, you can work on optimising your application documents, learn how to present yourself properly to prospective employers, and prepare for job interviews. 

AVGS recruitment help

With the help of the AVGS voucher, you can also get assigned a recruiter from a private employment agency, who will look for suitable jobs for you. The recruiter will try to find you permanent employment, which is at least 15 hours per week and runs for at least three months. The cost of their service is covered entirely by the employment agency. For the job seeker, it is completely free of charge. 

The AVGS may also be used to fund short-term work at a company, for instance, an internship or a trial period. 

Who is eligible for the AVGS voucher?

Anyone who is looking for work or training, or is at risk of being made unemployed, is eligible to apply for an AVGS. This includes people registered as job seekers, self-employed people who are looking for work, students and trainees, min-jobbers (earning less than 450 euros per month), soldiers who have recently completed their military service, and others who are returning to work, for instance after a period of parental leave.

In most cases, you need to have been unemployed for at least six weeks in the past three months and be receiving unemployment benefits. 

How do I apply for an AVGS?

You can apply for an AVGS as soon as you are registered as a job seeker with your local Employment Agency. You need to ask your personal advisor at your local job centre. If all of the requirements are met, the AVGS will be issued. However, there is no legal entitlement to the voucher - the ultimate decision lies with your local agency. 

Your AVGS will carry an explainer, stating for how long and where it is valid, as well as the kind of interventions that are being supported. You can then apply to an approved institution for your measure. If they approve your application, you can submit this to your advisor at the job centre, who will issue the final approval, allowing you to start.

How much is the AVGS worth?

Since 2013, the AVGS voucher has covered measures up to 2.000 euros, but in the case of an existing disability, long-term unemployment, or other circumstances increasing the difficulty of finding a successful placement, this amount can be increased to 2.500 euros. 

What are the advantages of the AVGS?

If you have been out of the job market or the application process for some time, it can be difficult to get back in. This is especially true for industries with hard labour competition, low wage jobs or non-technical jobs. For this reason, it makes sense to get help in the form of an AVGS voucher.

Through coaching and the associated support and refreshment of knowledge, it is easier to get back in the saddle and feel more confident. Additionally, the emotional support of the coach is a factor of success too. 

If you are interested in benefiting from an AVGS voucher but aren’t sure where to start, you can contact WBS Training for a free consultation. Benefit from detailed, personalised advice with one of their experts. 

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