Two young women with a PC symbolising vocational training


Yesterday, the Cabinet adopted the key points underpinning a new federal programme “Safeguard vocational training places”, which was informed by the agreement made by the Alliance for Initial and Further Training on 26 May 2020. Today, the Alliance for Initial and Further Training, a group made up of representatives from the federation, business, the unions, the Länder, and the Federal Employment Agency, discussed the next steps to be taken towards implementation of the programme. The federal programme “Safeguard vocational training places” is to be added to the existing tool deployed by the federation to support small and medium-sized companies in their role as providers of vocational training.

Under the scheme, companies that uphold their previous activities in vocational training or expand it are to receive vocational-training premiums. Small and medium-sized enterprises that take over apprentices from SMEs that have had to file for insolvency due to the pandemic will receive a premium for each apprentice they are taking in. Finally, support will also become available for training on demand and training in cooperation with others to allow apprentices working in small and medium-sized companies that are affected by the coronavirus crisis to temporarily switch to a different company or external training provider to continue their programme. Small and medium-sized companies that have had to resort to high levels of short-time work but have not cut the hours worked by their apprentices and trainers will also receive financial support.

The coronavirus pandemic is a challenge for companies, not only as they take on new apprentices. The final exams and journeypersons’ exams also required high levels of flexibility in terms of their organisation this year. Only thanks to the dedication and commitment of the examiners, who take on this role on an honorary basis, has it been possible for apprentices to complete their courses on schedule.

For more information about the Alliance for Initial and Further Training (in German), see