Skills Development Benefit supports companies undergoing structural change with the continuing education of their employees

On 1st April 2024, the new provisions of the Act to Strengthen Vocational Training and Continuing Education take effect. A new benefit for the area of employee qualification is launched: Qualifizierungsgeld, aka the Skills Development Benefit.

19 Mar 2024 | Press release no.12

“The Skills Development Benefit allows us to provide support with the transformation of the labour market. It creates opportunities to invest in the long-term job prospects of employees and to support companies with the challenging task of securing skilled labour,” explains Vanessa Ahuja, Executive Head of Cash Benefits at the BA.

A new instrument for employee qualification

The target group for the Skills Development Benefit is employees who are at particular at risk of losing their jobs due to the transformation of the world of work but who can secure their future employment in their current company through continuing education.

The Skills Development Benefit supplements the existing instruments for employee qualification. It is paid regardless of the size of the company, the age or the qualifications of the employee, and is paid in lieu of the salary. The amount of the Skills Development Benefit is 60 per cent – or 67 percent for employees who have at least one child – of the net salary which is lost as a result of the continuing education. Employers are free to top up the amount. The employer bears the costs of the continuing education.

Prerequisites for the Skills Development Benefit

The prerequisites for the receipt of the Skills Development Benefit include the need for the qualification of a significant proportion of the workforce caused by structural change, a works agreement or a works-related collective agreement (except for micro-enterprises), as well as sustainable employment prospects in the current company. The employees must agree to the qualification pursued.

Employers are already able to apply for the Skills Development Benefit. Applications can also be submitted online. Further information on the amount and prerequisites surrounding the Skills Development Benefit, forms and instructions for online applications are available on our website: Skills Development Benefit (available in German).