Vocational further education funding; application to the employment agency

If you would like to continue your professional training, the employment agency or the job center will pay for your training costs under certain conditions.


General further education support with the education voucher:

With an education voucher, the employment agency or job center can cover all or part of the costs of your further education. Before you receive an education voucher, the responsible employment agency or job center will check with you whether further education is necessary for you.
You can redeem the education voucher at an educational institution of your choice if it is approved for further education funding.
The further education measure itself must also be approved and fit the education voucher. The education voucher specifies, among other things:

  • the educational goal,
  • the duration until the educational goal is reached,
  • the contents of the qualification,
  • the regional area of application and
  • the period of validity in which you must have redeemed the education voucher and begun your participation.

The education voucher is generally valid at your place of residence and at places that you can reach daily from home.

The continuing education costs that the Employment Agency or Job Center pays for you usually include:

  • Course costs and costs for determining suitability,
  • travel expenses,
  • Costs for accommodation and meals away from home,
  • costs for child care.

In the case of continuing education courses that begin before the end of December 31, 2023 and lead to a qualification in recognized training occupations with a duration of at least 2 years, you will receive a continuing education bonus of EUR 1,500 for successfully passing the final examination. If the law or ordinance provides for an intermediate examination, you will receive EUR 1,000 for passing it.

Subsequent acquisition of the lower secondary school leaving certificate:

Under certain conditions, the subsequent acquisition of the lower secondary school leaving certificate or an equivalent qualification is also supported.

Support for employees without a vocational qualification or with a vocational qualification that cannot be used (low-skilled workers):

If you do not yet have a vocational qualification or have not worked in your learned profession for more than 4 years and can no longer practice the profession you learned earlier due to occupational alienation, you will be subsidized by assumption of the costs of further training if you participate in further training measures for the subsequent acquisition of a vocational qualification.
The following are included in these 4 years:

  • Periods of employment in unskilled and semi-skilled work
  • Unemployment
  • Periods spent caring for relatives
  • Periods spent raising children

If you are unemployed and receiving unemployment benefits during the period of further training, you will continue to receive your unemployment benefits from the Employment Agency or continue to receive your unemployment benefits II during the period of further training.

Acquisition of basic skills:

If you still lack basic skills in reading, writing, mathematics, or information and communication technologies for a continuing education program that you want to use to obtain a vocational qualification, the Employment Agency or the Job Center can also support continuing education in these areas under certain conditions.

Support for employed workers:

The Employment Agency or the relevant job center can also promote further training for employees, particularly if they work in occupations that may be replaced by technologies or are otherwise affected by structural change or are seeking further training in a bottleneck occupation, i.e., an occupation in which there is a shortage of skilled workers.

Your employer must generally contribute to the cost of the training. He or she can also receive wage subsidies while you are undergoing further training. The size of the contribution depends on the size of the company:

  • Subsidies for wages:
    • up to 25 percent for companies with 250 or more employees,
    • up to 50 percent for small and medium-sized enterprises (10 to 249 employees), and
    • up to 75 percent for microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees).
  • Subsidies for course costs:
    • 100 percent in microenterprises with up to 9 employees,
    • up to 50 percent in companies with up to 249 employees,
    • up to 25 percent in companies with 250 employees or more,
    • up to 15 percent in large companies with 2,500 or more employees,
    • up to 100 percent in small and medium-sized companies (up to 249 employees) for older employees (from age 45) or employees with a severe disability.
  • In addition, up to 15 percent higher subsidies for training costs and pay if there is a collective agreement or a company agreement on vocational qualification or if there is a special need for further training.
  • Assumption of full course costs and pay subsidy of up to 100 percent for participation by low-skilled workers in continuing education with the aim of obtaining a vocational qualification.


As a rule, the costs for your continuing education can be covered if

  • you have participated in a counseling session with the employment agency or the job center,
  • the further training is necessary to end your unemployment, to make up for a missing vocational qualification or to avert imminent unemployment
  • the individual employability is improved by the acquisition of extended professional competences and the further training is appropriate with regard to the labor market and
  • the training measure and the training provider are approved for further training funding.

Funding is also possible for employees under certain conditions if

  • the further training goes beyond an exclusively job-related short-term adaptation further training,
  • the vocational qualification was obtained at least 4 years previously,
  • you have not participated in a vocational further training course supported by the Employment Agency or the Job Center in the last 4 years before submitting your application,
  • the further training is carried out outside the company or by an approved provider in the company,
  • lasts more than 120 hours
  • the provider and the measure are approved, and
  • you are engaged in activities that can be replaced by technologies or are otherwise affected by structural change or you wish to learn a bottleneck occupation.


If you are unemployed or threatened by unemployment or want to obtain a vocational qualification, you can only initiate your further training support together with your placement or integration specialist:

  • To do this, make an appointment at your employment agency or job center.
  • If you receive unemployment benefit II: the job center responsible for your place of residence.
  • In all other cases: the employment agency responsible for your place of residence.
  • In a personal interview, we will clarify whether you need additional qualifications in order to find a job as quickly as possible.
  • Your placement or integration specialist will then check whether you meet the requirements for funding.
  • Under certain circumstances, the Medical Service or the Vocational Psychology Service may also be involved in determining your suitability.
  • Education voucher:
    • Your placement or integration specialist will usually issue the training voucher directly during the counseling session.
    • You select a suitable course yourself and register.
  • Before the start of the course, the training provider confirms your acceptance for the course on the training voucher and informs the Employment Agency or the Job Center. The employment agency or job center then checks whether the course fits the education voucher and whether you meet the entry requirements. If this is the case, funding for the continuing education is possible and you can begin with the continuing education.
  • You should already start applying for suitable job offers during the further education course.
  • If you become ill during the course, you must inform the employment agency or job center as well as the educational institution.
  • You will also continue to be supervised by your responsible placement or integration specialist during the further training course and will discuss the next steps of your job search with them, especially before the end of the further training course.

If you are in employment, discuss your need for further training with your employer. You can then contact the employment agency or job center to clarify the next steps.


Validity of the education voucher: 1 to 3 months

Processing time

Education voucher: none (the education voucher is usually issued directly during the counseling interview)

The education voucher must be submitted to the responsible employment agency or job center before the start of the continuing education measure. After return of the education voucher and submission of the complete documents by the sponsor, the processing time is usually 2 weeks.

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    • Curriculum vitae
    • Testimonials


  • There are no costs for you.


You can lodge an objection to this administrative act within one month of its notification in writing or by recording it at the employment agency or job center named in the document header. The objection may be submitted in electronic form to effectively replace the written form. Electronic form is ensured by transmitting an electronic document that is suitable for processing by the Employment Agency and has a qualified electronic signature by the person to be held responsible and is sent to the special public authority mailbox (beBPo) assigned to the Employment Agency named in the document header.

Status: 25.08.2022

Responsible for editing: Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales

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