Karliczek/ Altmaier/ Heil: Invest now in the future of training

Cabinet approves federal programme "Safeguard vocational training places"

The Federal Cabinet has approved the key elements of the federal programme "Safeguard vocational training places". This represents the implementation of a further commitment within the economic stimulus package. In order to support training companies, training organisations and their trainees in health and social care professions, the Federal Government will make available up to €500 million over 2020 and 2021.

Federal Minister Anja Karliczek commented: "We must not now allow the coronavirus pandemic to turn into a crisis on the training market. Today's trainees are the skilled workers of tomorrow. Before the crisis, there was a desperate need for skilled workers and, after the crisis, we will also need every single one of them. The Federal Government wants to use the federal programme "Safeguard vocational training places" to persuade small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to invest in training. This will help to safeguard a bright future for companies. Now more than ever, we have to enable young people to successfully start and complete training. We want to be able to provide them with secure prospects for their professional lives-prospects which they deserve."

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier commented: "If we fail to support companies in the training of young people today, we will have no skilled workers tomorrow. Without skilled workers, the SME engine, the power behind our economy, will splutter. This is why we are now providing a €500 million injection for the training market to support motivated young people in laying down the foundations for building their own lives despite the coronavirus pandemic. Following their training, these young people will play their part in ensuring a return to economic growth and increasing prosperity in Germany. This is by far the most secure and profitable way in which we as a Federal Government can invest our money."

Federal Minister Hubertus Heil commented: "Young people need prospects. Good quality training provides them with these. Dual training is a core element of our country's brand identity and our ticket to an economically successful future . We therefore have to keep things ticking over, especially in challenging times. For me, it is important that young people are still able to start and complete training even in 2020. This is why we want to introduce a training bonus. This is a clear signal to companies: get training! The trainees of today are the skilled workers of tomorrow."


The package of measures is aimed at SMEs with up to 249 employees who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. They are to receive support for a fixed period over the 2020/21 training year to help them maintain their training provision and so that young people are able to successfully continue and complete their training.

Summary of the measures:

Training bonus (continuation of training provision): SMEs providing training which maintains the level of training compared to the three previous years will be supported with a training bonus. For every training agreement concluded for the 2020 training year, these SMEs will receive a one-off payment of €2,000 (following completion of the probationary period).

Training bonus (increase of training provision): SMEs providing training which increases their level of training compared to the three previous years will receive a one-off payment of €3,000 (following completion of the probationary period) for each additionally concluded training agreement for the 2020 training year.

Avoidance of reduced working hours: SMEs that continue with their training activities despite a considerable reduction in working hours (at least 50 per cent) will receive support of 75 per cent of the gross training remuneration for each month in which this is the case. 

Commissioned training and training in affiliated groups: If SMEs are unable to continue training on a temporary basis, then other SMEs, inter-company vocational training centres, or other established training service providers can take on the provision of the training and receive support for this over a defined period of time. This applies where the business operations of the SME originally providing the training have been significantly impacted by pandemic-related closures or extensive constraints, and where these circumstances significantly restrict continuation of business operations.

Recruitment bonus: SMEs taking on trainees until the end of their training from other SMEs in insolvency, due to the coronavirus impact, will receive a bonus of €3,000 per trainee.

SMEs which organise vocational education and training in recognised training occupations, or do so as part of training in health and social care which is integrated in practice and regulated by the government at national or federal-state level, will be considered for support. Placements are excluded. Only one bonus will be paid per training course.

Source: bmbf.bund.de (press release by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research), revised by iMOVE, September 2020