Funding for continuing training

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The requirements of the world of work are subject to constant change. Continuing training is necessary in order to remain up to speed in any occupation and to continue to develop professionally. For persons with foreign professional and vocational qualifications, continuing training can be an important step towards full recognition of their qualification and towards achieving successful integration into the labour market.


The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has various programmes in place to support continuing training for migrants.

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Continuing training grant

  1. Grant voucher

    What is promoted?
    Individual continuing vocational education and training.

    Who receives support?
    Persons who are at least 25 years old and in paid employment for at least 15 hours per week can receive a grant voucher. Their annual taxable income may not exceed 20,000 Euros (or 40,000 Euros if they are jointly taxable with their spouse).

    Which costs are assumed?
    The grant voucher supports the participation in continuing education and training measures with participation fees up to the amount of 1,000 Euros. Fifty per cent of the participation fees are covered by the state with the voucher.
  2. Further training savings plan (savings voucher)

    What is promoted?
    Individual continuing vocational education and training.

    Who receives support?
    The further training savings plan can be used by people having a supported savings deposit pursuant to the Capital Accumulation Act (Vermögensbildungsgesetz – VermBG). The savings voucher of the continuing education grant allows the premature withdrawal of funds from the savings deposit without losing the employee savings grant.  

    The further training savings plan can be combined with the grant voucher.

Contact:
Help and advice is provided by a network of regional counselling services. For more information please visit the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Enter the Continuing Education Grant website

Upgrading Training Assistance Act – AFGB (“Meister-BAföG”)

What kind of support is on offer?
Support for advanced training courses in the non-academic field (e.g. master craftsman training courses in the craft trades, advanced training courses leading to the qualification of certified senior clerk and technician).

Who is eligible for funding?
Participants with a qualification obtained in Germany or with a comparable foreign qualification.  Foreign nationals may also be eligible for funding if they hold a long-term residence permit or are likely to remain in Germany permanently. 

Which costs are met?
Funding is available for course and examination fees. A grant in the amount of a maximum of 30.5% of costs and a low-interest loan are provided irrespective of income and assets. 25 percent of the remaining loan is waived if the examination is passed. Depending on family status, income and assets, living support costs may also be paid for full-time advanced training measures (also in the form of a grant and a loan). 

Point of contact
The applicants’ local Training Funding Offices are usually responsible for applications. Further information is available here.

Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (BAföG)

What kind of support is on offer?
Support for initial training at general or vocational schools, colleges, academies or institutes of higher education. The funding available for higher education study encompasses support for Bachelor and Masters degrees. Company-based training and the accompanying vocational school-based training (dual training) are not eligible for funding. 

Who is eligible for funding?
Persons up to a maximum age of 30 can usually be supported for Bachelor courses of higher education study. For Masters courses of study, the age limit is 35. Foreign nationals who are likely to remain in Germany permanently (e.g. who are in possession of a long-term residence permit or settlement permit) may apply for funding. 

Which costs are met?
Both living support costs and costs of education and training are covered. The amount of funding available depends on the assets of the trainees and students, their spouses or their parents. School-age pupils receive their training support in the form of a grant. Higher education students and trainees at trade and technical schools receive half of the funding as a grant and the other half as an interest-free loan. 

Point of contact
Further information on BAföG is available from the various relevant agencies, which also process applications.

  1. Higher education students should contact the Student Support Service at the institute of higher education at which they are enrolled or will enrol.
  2. Trainees at evening upper secondary schools, colleges, trade and technical schools and academies should contact the Training Funding Office in the district where the training venue is located.
  3. All other school-age pupils should be referred to the Training Funding Office at the place of residence of their parents.

Application forms and further information are available here.

Training credit

What kind of support is on offer?
Support for the penultimate and final year of training or continuing training at general or vocational schools, trade and technical schools, colleges, academies and institutes of higher education.

Who is eligible for funding?
Irrespective of BaföG, the programme is aimed at higher education students or pupils who have already obtained a vocational qualification or else will acquire such a qualification as a result of the school-based training they are currently undergoing. Foreign nationals who are likely to remain in Germany permanently (e.g. who are in possession of a long-term residence permit or settlement permit) may apply. 

Which costs are met?
The funding comprises a fixed term low-interest loan. Income and assets of trainees and their parents are not taken into account.

Point of contact
Further information is available on the BAföG website or on the official Training credit site.

Federal state funding programmes

Some federal states also offer funding programmes for participation in continuing training. Information is available from the advisory centres of the “Integration through Training” Network (IQ).


Information on funding opportunities for continuing training within the scope of employment support is available here.