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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

vocational training for low-skilled employees and for older workers employed by SMEis

Country of implementation
Germany
General short description of the innovation
Whereas vocational training subsidies are normally only available for unemployed people, since 2002, also employed workers can be supported / 1. if they lack a vocational qualification, or / 2. if they are 45 or older and employed by an SME (< 250 employees). / Subsidies type 1 include training provider fees and the refunding of wage costs during training hours; subsidies type 2 cover only training costs.
Target group
Older Workers
Policy Field
  • education
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
starting in 2002; ongoing
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural in the sense that before 2002, training of employed workers would not be supported (since this was regarded as an inappropriate subsidy to their employers)
  • Budgets: Since vocational training costs in this programme are not reported separately from the expenditure for training unemployed people, budgets can only be given for the refunding of wage costs: 2.2 million in 2012
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: No figures about intended beneficiaries available: actual number of beneficiaries peaked at around 50,000 in 2009 and fell to about 20,000 in 2011 and 18,000 in 2012.
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The intention is to keep allegedly vulnerable groups in employment (‰preventiveˇ approach to active labour market policy). With regard to the target group of older employees, this coincides with the ‰working longerˇ agenda, and in general, the programme relates to the ‰combating skills shortagesˇ agenda.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
opening active labour market policy for employed workers was a programmatic change; it was a challenge vis-vis European state aid rules since supporting employed workers can be interpreted as a subsidy to their employer (who is, in effect, the recipient of wage cost replacements for the working time forgone through training)
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • typical strategy for the innovation (optional; according to Obinger)-flexicurity
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • lifelong learning
  • training schemes
Intended target group
1. unskilled employees / 2. employees 45 or older
Working age population
  • educational level (low/medium/high) (low)
  • employment situation (please specify: e.g. typical work/atypical/unemployed) (typical work)
  • main source of income: paid work
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-agency or national social insurance body
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-employees (organised or individual) (individual)
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-employers (organised or individual) (individual)
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-private for-profit organisations (commercial) (training providers)
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-private not-for-profit organisations (e.g. Third Sector organisation or NGO) (training providers)
Intended output
  • lifelong learning
  • training schemes
Intended and unintended outcomes
target group was never quantified
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
Peak participation in 2009 shows anti-cyclical use of the programme: Similar to short-time working allowances, the programme was used to stabilize employment in the aftermath of the financial crisis, thus contributing to labour market resilience.
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