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Practical Tips

Planning

Good planning is important, whether you wish to enrol in a further education programme or you receive in-house training from your employer. Before you start, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my goal? Where would I like to get to?
  • What do I need? Do I want to broaden my knowledge or specifically improve my career prospects?
  • Which teaching methods suit me and my plans?
  • How much time do I have?
  • Who can help me plan?
  • How will I fund my training?
  • Which providers are there?

Advisory services will help you find answers to these questions. In addition, private consultants can also help you plan your career. However, they do not offer any training courses, and you have to pay them privately.

Funding

The costs for further education may put you off to begin with. Quite often the employer will cover, or at least subsidise, the fees for professional development. There are also a few government grants which you might be eligible for.

The Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) will subsidise you if your further education course is considered to be essential. The leaflet Förderung der beruflichen Weiterbildung für Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer (Funding for Professional Development Programmes for Employees and Employers) from the Employment Agency provides an overview of the various options.

There are many more options for employees, and in particular for job-seekers. We recommend scheduling a personal appointment.

  • A Bildungsprämie (training premium) is available to employees and the self-employed, whose annual income does not exceed EUR 20,000 per year (EUR 40,000 for married couples). They receive a grant worth up to 50% of the further education course fees (maximum EUR 500).
  • The Aufstiegs-BAföG (Advanced Further Education Grant) is available to people of any age and aims to facilitate career advancement. The state provides funding of up to EUR 10,000, 30% of which is covered by them. The applicant must pay back the remaining 70% interest-free. Your further education programme must consist of at least 400 hours of training. The relevant contacts are the local BAFöG authorities.
  • An Aufstiegsstipendium (upgrade scholarship) is available to those who have achieved excellent results in their vocational training (1.9 or better in the German grading system) and wish to pursue studies in higher education after two years’ work experience. For full-time studies, the grant is EUR 670 per month plus EUR 80 for books. Upgrade scholarships do not have to be paid back. The relevant contact is the Stiftung Begabtenförderung berufliche Bildung (Foundation for Talent Funding for Vocational Training)
  • A further education scholarship is available to those under the age of 25 who have shown special achievements at work or in training. Different types of further education programmes may be funded, ranging from training courses to language classes. The state funds up to EUR 6,000 and this does not have to be paid back. However, you have to pay 10% of the total fees of your further education programme. The contact for this is also the Stiftung Begabtenförderung berufliche Bildung (Foundation for Talent Funding for Vocational Training).
  • The Qualifizierungsscheck Hessen “Hessen Qualification Check” is unique to FrankfurtRheinMain (FRM). It is available to employees in Hessen who work for companies with fewer than 250 employees and who either do not have a qualification that is recognised in their occupation, or are over the age of 45. They receive a grant of up to EUR 500 and contribute 50% of the fees themselves.

If your professional development programme is not eligible for state funding, it is considered to be voluntary training. While you have to cover the costs yourself, you can reclaim some of the taxes included.

General further education programmes are not eligible for state funding.


Important Note

You may only receive funding if you obtain all of the necessary information and submit your application before you start your further education programme. It is not possible to apply for funding retrospectively.