First major German public authority to meet OZG requirements by end of 2022
Registering as unemployed or applying for unemployment or child benefit online: BA has been offering these services to citizens for many years as part of its e-services. Many other services have been continuously added in recent years. Employers can conveniently apply for support services or short-time working benefit electronically. Self-employed people can submit an electronic application for voluntary continued unemployment insurance. Young people can upload their documents for career entry support online.
Andrea Nahles, CEO of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), says: “I want citizens to have a good experience when interacting with BA online. I see our agency as a pioneer of digitisation and automation within the public sector. That is why I am all the more pleased that by the end of the year, we will be the first major German public authority to comply with the requirements of the OZG and offer around 70 electronic services in a user-friendly manner. This sees BA taking another major step towards an even more customer-friendly and citizen-oriented administration.
BA has been digitising its service offering for over 20 years now
The virtual job market was launched as early as 2003: The Jobbörse with its wide range of possibilities for job seeking and recruitment was born. Since then, the former Jobbörse has been completely renewed and modernized. The so-called job search function is now available for aspiring apprentices and job seekers to use. Companies can use the ever-evolving Bewerberbörse to find new employees. Self-discovery tools such as Check-U and New Plan are available for professional orientation and advice. BA’s IT department is constantly modernising the online portal and publishing up-to-date information, applications and self-discovery offerings.
Dr. Markus Schmitz, BA’s CIO, says: “We want to give citizens access to our services through our online offering, enabling them to resolve their concerns quickly, comprehensively and easily. For this reason, we are gradually digitising all services where this is technically possible, economically feasible and requested by customers. It is not the customers who should move, but their processes and data. Whenever we create or further develop digital services, we always consistently integrate the feedback we get from our customers.”
Apps, chat bots, video communication: Digitisation beyond the OZG
Most notably during the COVID pandemic, BA was able to provide new online offerings within a very short time, which are not included in the OZG requirements, but actually go beyond them. Apps were developed, including the app for short-time working benefit and the customer app BA-mobil, which will be expanded with many useful features in the future. Reaching out to the Employment Agency can now be done even faster and 24/7.
Chat bots were designed to help people fill out online forms by answering questions on topics related to unemployment benefit, child benefit, child bonus and short-time working benefit.
Another important format for interaction was created during the pandemic in the form of video communication. During a video appointment, customers can discuss questions relating to education and training or rehabilitation needs with their placement officer, among other things. The recommendation rate of more than 95 percent is evidence that the modern and newly designed interaction formats are very well received by customers.
Link to BA’s current e-services: https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/eservices