To mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the traineeship market, the German government has decided to make available assistance worth millions of euros. The new nationwide programme to save traineeships (Ausbildungsplätze sichern) provides for measures worth a total of 500 million euros for small and medium businesses in 2020 and 2021. Businesses with a workforce of up to 249, that offer vocational traineeships in recognised occupations or conduct practice-integrated training regulated by national or federal state authorities in the health and social sectors are eligible to receive assistance.
Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek explained, "Even during a pandemic young people need good opportunities to obtain training and they need reliable prospects for their professional future. The nationwide programme to save traineeships (Ausbildungsplätze sichern) is making an important contribution here. Young people are to be able to begin, continue and successfully complete a traineeship in the academic year 2020/2021."
Bonus payment for companies offering traineeships
The following regulations are planned:
- Businesses that have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are to receive a bonus payment if they offer the same number of traineeships as before. Specifically, they are to receive 2,000 euros for every training contract concluded for the academic year 2020/2021.
- Businesses that increase the number of traineeships they offer will receive a bonus payment of 3,000 euros for every additional training contract.
- Businesses offering traineeships that also continue their activities during the crisis and do not resort to short-time work for trainees or their instructors are to receive special support. The plan is to provide support equivalent to 75 per cent of the gross remuneration of trainees. This will apply for every month in which the business suffers a loss of work of at least 50 per cent. This support is limited until 31 December 2020.
- Assistance is also available to businesses that take on trainees whose original companies are unable to continue their training for an interim period as a result of the pandemic. This assistance is limited until 30 June 2021.
- Businesses taking on trainees from companies forced to declare insolvency will receive a bonus payment of 3,000 euros for every such trainee they take on. This assistance too is limited until 30 June 2021.
With this programme, the German government is translating into practice an important element of the economic stimulus and future package to overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The nationwide programme is also to ensure the continued supply of skilled workers for the years to come.
As of next week, the application forms will be available on the website of Federal Employment Agency ). Assistance covers trainees starting their traineeship no earlier than 1 August 2020. This also applies if the training contract was signed earlier.