Vocational further education funding; application to the job center

If you would like to continue your professional training, the Jobcenter will pay the costs of further training for you under certain conditions.


General further education support with the education voucher:

With an education voucher, the Jobcenter can cover all or part of the costs of your continuing vocational education. Before you receive an education voucher, the responsible 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 locations that you can reach daily from home.

The continuing education costs that the Jobcenter pays for you usually include:

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

Continuing education awards:

If you start continuing education before Dec. 31, 2023, to earn a vocational qualification in a recognized training occupation, you will receive EUR 1,000 for passing an intermediate examination regulated by law or ordinance and EUR 1,500 for passing the final examination.

Subsequent acquisition of the secondary school leaving certificate:

Under certain conditions, the subsequent acquisition of the 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 still in need of assistance according to SGB II during the period of further education, you will continue to receive your unemployment benefit II.

Acquisition of basic skills:

If you still lack basic skills in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics or information and communication technologies for further training with which you want to acquire a vocational qualification, the job center can also support further training in these areas under certain conditions.

Support for employed workers:

The Agentur für Arbeit is responsible for this type of support.

However, the relevant job center can advise you on 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. How large the share is depends on the size of the company:

  • Subsidies for wages and salaries:
    • 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 the full cost of training courses and up to 100 percent wage subsidies for low-skilled persons participating in training courses with the aim of obtaining a vocational qualification.


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

  • you have participated in counseling by 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 skills 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 the 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 integration specialist:

  • To do so, make an appointment at your Jobcenter. that is responsible for your place of residence. Optionally, you can send a request to your job center online.
  • If you receive unemployment benefit II, the job center in whose district you live is responsible. A personal interview will clarify whether you need additional qualifications in order to find a job as quickly as possible.
  • Your 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 integration specialist will usually issue the education voucher directly during the counseling session.
    • You choose a suitable course yourself and register.
  • Before the start of the measure, the education provider confirms your acceptance into the course on the education voucher and informs the job center. The 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 job center and the educational institution.
  • You will continue to be supervised by your responsible integration specialist during the continuing education program and discuss the next steps of your job search with them, especially before the end of the continuing education program.

If you are employed, discuss your need for further training with your employer. The employer will then contact the employment agency to discuss the next steps. Alternatively, you can contact your integration specialist at the job center yourself.


If you do not agree with the decision of your job center, you can file an appeal within one month. Your appeal must be submitted in writing to your responsible job center.

Processing time

The education voucher must be submitted to the relevant employment agency or job center before the start of the further education measure. After return of the education voucher and submission of the complete documents by the sponsor, the processing time is usually 2 weeks. (2 to 4 weeks)

Required documents

  • Erforderliche Unterlage/n

    • Lebenslauf 
    • Zeugnisse


  • Fee: none



Status: 16.04.2023

Responsible for editing: Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales

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