Alliance for Initial and Further Training

The partners in the Alliance for Initial and Further Training decide upon a “Joint action to support training companies and young people in the coronavirus pandemic”

17 Mar 2021 | Press Release No. 11

Joint press release of the Alliance for Initial and Further Training

The coronavirus crisis must not become a training or skilled workers crisis. That is why the partners in the “Alliance for Initial and Further Training” have today agreed upon measures to support vocational training and to stabilise the training market in a joint action. Their intention is to prevent supply and demand from declining in the training year 2021/2022 as a result of the pandemic. No company and no young person should be left to cope on their own.

Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy: “Today, in the Occupational Training Week, the Alliance partners have sent out a strong signal for the stabilisation of the training market. With our joint action, we are assisting young people and companies to bring vocational training programmes that have already started to a successful conclusion, even under the difficult conditions of the pandemic, and to conclude new training contracts. I am confident that the new measures taken by the Alliance will very soon bear fruit in the economy due to the incipient opening-up process and the expansion of the testing options.”

Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs: “A good training programme is essential for a good life. We must make this possible for young people, even in times of crisis. Therefore, we must urgently boost the companies’ willingness to provide training. I am delighted that the BMAS is able to make a decisive contribution to this by refining the federal programme “Safeguard vocational training places”. The fact that the bonuses will be twice as high will hopefully motivate more companies to train young people. The fact that larger companies can also be supported in the future will ensure the creation of even more training places. The trainees of today are the skilled workers of tomorrow.”

Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research: “The dual vocational training programme secures the next generation of skilled workers and excellent career prospects. We must do everything to ensure that the training opportunities can be maintained as far as possible even in the second year of the pandemic restrictions. So that companies and young people can find a good fit, the federal government is going to bring the abundance of existing excellent offerings in the field of digital vocational orientation together on a new platform and thus improve their visibility. However, we also have to continue to safeguard existing training places. Therefore, the federal government is also going to enhance its federal programme “Safeguard vocational training places” with respect to the subsidising of contracted and collaborative training. We will reduce the minimum term for a subsidised contracted and collaborative training programme to four weeks, make it possible for even the parent training company to apply for a subsidy, and increase the maximum possible subsidy to 8,100 euros. A completely new feature is that companies will in future also be able to receive subsidies for the costs of external preparatory courses for examinations. And even if the training company becomes insolvent as a result of the pandemic, the trainees must not be put out on the street. Therefore, we are extending the bonus for taking on trainees from insolvent companies and doubling it to 6,000 euros.”

Annette Widmann-Mauz, Minister of State for Migration, Refugees and Integration: “Many people with an immigration background are working and training in sectors that have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Therefore, the federal government is providing targeted support to trainees, employees and companies, in the form of financial aid, in order to cushion the effects of the pandemic. The important thing here is to also take into account those people who need support with starting a vocational training programme and at vocational college, e.g. because their knowledge of German is still insufficient, in order to get them off to a good start in a dual training programme. At the same time, we are supporting companies from the sectors that have been hit particularly hard, such as commerce or hospitality, so that they can guide their trainees to a successful conclusion of their training. These efforts must be continued in 2021, in order to safeguard the successes that have been achieved with regard to integration into training and work.”

The federal states, represented by Britta Ernst (Chair of the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs), Kristina Vogt (Chair of the Conference of Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs) and Prof. Andreas Pinkwart (Chair of the Conference of Ministers of Economic Affairs), once again emphasised the significance of the dual training programme for securing skilled workers even in times of crisis. Also at a state and regional level, therefore, numerous efforts were made to support both the training companies and the employees wherever possible. In the coming months, it will be necessary to work with all the partners on a regional, state and national level to find ways to bring prospective trainees and training companies together through adapted vocational orientation formats.

Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the Board of the Federal Employment Agency: “I am glad that, with the joint action, all the partners have agreed to an even closer collaboration. We support the young people with vocational orientation and advice. To this end, we have extended our communication channels to include advice services by video, for example, and created new digital offerings for vocational orientation. We support the companies with advice, by organising placements and – if necessary – also financially, for example with assisted training or introductory training. The additional possibilities provided by the federal programme “Safeguard training places” and the measures resolved upon today are also helpful. All the partners know: anyone who doesn’t provide training today will have no skilled workers tomorrow.

Elke Hannack, Chair of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB): “Time is running out on the training market. In order to prevent another slump in the number of training contracts in the second year of the coronavirus crisis, the aid for the avoidance of short-time work during training, for the adoption of trainees from insolvent companies, and for collaborative and contracted training is now going to more companies more quickly and with less bureaucracy. A good training programme generally lasts three years; the coronavirus crisis is now moving into its second year. Therefore, many young people have already done half of their training in an exceptional situation. A company survey conducted by the Institute for Labour Market and Employment Research (IAB) reveals: Almost every third training company was not able to convey the training contents as intended. Therefore, it is only right that companies are now being subsidised if they allow their trainees to prepare for the final examinations free of charge.”

Dr Rainer Dulger, President of the Federation of German Employers’ Associations: “In order to be able to hit the ground running again after the pandemic, we must train good skilled workers now. For it is only with excellent new talents that the German economy will remain innovative and competitive. So that applicants and training companies find their way to one another and no training place remains unoccupied, we at the Alliance must concentrate all our efforts on innovative methods of vocational orientation for school leavers. The federal programme “Safeguard training places” is a valuable acknowledgement of companies that are continuing to provide training in spite of major challenges. However, the following is clear: the programme must be limited in time to the current situation caused by the pandemic and must provide incentives to provide training and an acknowledgement of the provision of training in a targeted manner. After the pandemic, the companies will once again bear sole responsibility for financing training.”

The Alliance for Initial and Further Training responded early to the emerging challenges for the training market with its joint declaration of 26th May 2020. With the federal programme “Safeguard training places”, the federal government has also been able to provide important support for trainees and training companies.

With the joint action that was passed today, the Alliance is once again setting an example. The focus will be on the strengthening of vocational orientation, training advice for and the matching of trainees and companies, and financial assistance with the preparation of the trainees for their exams. On the other hand, the funding possibilities for training companies will be extended and expanded in the federal programme “Safeguard training places”. In the “Summer of Vocational Training” in 2021, young people and companies are to be increasingly interested in and won over to a dual vocational training programme, with the intensive involvement of all the players in the field of vocational training. 

You can find further information about the Alliance for Initial and Further Training and about the joint action at www.aus-und-weiterbildungsallianz.de.

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