Increased support for training companies during the coronavirus pandemic

Federal programme "Safeguard vocational training places" is expanded.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which have been particularly hard hit by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic receive support in the form of bonuses if they recruit new trainees to the same or to a larger extent than previously, or if they take on trainees from insolvent companies. The federal government is responding to the continuing coronavirus crisis and its wide-ranging impacts, and is now significantly easing the eligibility criteria for training bonuses. Recruitment bonuses and grants for training remuneration will be extended until the middle of 2021.

Federal Minister of Labour Hubertus Heil: "Many companies recruited trainees in the summer despite the pressures caused by the pandemic. And this is a good thing – for companies in terms of securing a supply of skilled workers, and for young people. At the same time, we are currently experiencing a second wave of the coronavirus – of all things during the second-chance placement phase. For me it is important that we spread out our help more widely than before. We are therefore expanding the funding opportunities. More companies ought to benefit. The principal aim is to also help those who did not see a significant fall in sales until the autumn or who have experienced less significant losses over an extended period. In this way we are creating an additional incentive to continue to recruit trainees even now. The goal is for companies in which training commenced back in June or July to also benefit."

Federal Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek commented: "Even in the coronavirus pandemic, there is a notable high level of readiness among companies to provide training. For this reason, efforts made by young people to find a training position over recent months have often proved successful. However, conditions on the training market of course remain difficult due to the coronavirus pandemic. Training companies therefore need ongoing support in order to recruit new trainees and to continue training. We have therefore further developed and also expanded the federal programme ‘Safeguard vocational training place'. For example, in future all companies are able to receive a bonus if they take on trainees from insolvent companies – regardless of the size of the business. This will make it easier for state assistance to arrive with the companies and the trainees. It is important to me to enable every young person to complete their training and to offer them secure prospects for their professional future".

In detail:

In future, SME training companies can access support from training bonuses and training bonuses plus if they have experienced sales losses within two months between April and December 2020 of an average of at least 50 percent – or have had to cope with losses of an average of at least 30 percent in five consecutive months compared to the previous year (previously: average of at least 60 percent in April and May compared to previous year).

The implementation of reduced working hours can also be taken into account in the second half of 2020 for training bonuses and training bonuses plus (previously: only the first half of 2020). In the future, training started from 24 June 2020 to 31 July 2020 will also be included in the training bonuses.

If a company takes on a trainee who has lost their training position due to insolvency caused by the pandemic, then in future this company can access a recruitment bonus regardless of the size of the business (previously: only if both businesses had a maximum of 249 employees).

Recruitment of this type can be supported up to 30 June 2021 (previously: up to 31 December 2020).

The training remuneration grants for avoiding reduced working hours during training are being extended through to June 2021 (previously: term ran until December 2020).

Interested companies can easily apply for the funding to the job centre. This can also be done retrospectively under the improved conditions. The Federal Employment Agency has forms available on its website which are easy to complete and which contain information and guidance.

Source: (website of the German Federal Ministry for Labour and Economic Affairs), revised by iMOVE, May 2021