The Qualification Opportunities Act was introduced by the grand coalition four years ago. According to the Federal Ministry of Labor, however, only a few successes have been celebrated so far.

The Grand Coalition’s Qualification Opportunities Act has not brought about the hoped-for boom in further vocational training. Since the law came into force four years ago, around 119,000 people have started subsidized further training, the Federal Ministry of Labor said at the request of the editorial network Germany (RND). From the point of view of medium-sized companies, this is a disappointing result, according to the BVMW medium-sized companies association.

According to the Ministry of Labour, the main reason for the decline in subsidized training is the corona pandemic. “In 2019, 34,554 employees started subsidized professional development. Due to the pandemic, the number of entries in the following year, 2020, was somewhat lower at 29,842,” a ministry spokeswoman told the RND. “In 2021, with 33,983 admissions, the pre-pandemic level was almost reached.” By August 2022, with 20,136 admissions, there was an increase of 11.9 percent compared to the same period last year, it said. All in all, that’s 118,515 people

The Mittelstandsverband BVMW suggested to increase the number of further training courses, “that wage costs should also be taken over for the replacement of the workforce in the company – i.e. not only for the employee who is currently undergoing further training,” said BVMW boss Markus Jerger to the RND. “In our opinion, this would lead to a real boom in demand for further training and qualifications.”

The Qualification Opportunities Act came into force on January 1, 2019 to counteract the shortage of skilled workers as a result of structural change. The law is intended to promote further training measures for employees – the job centers will partially cover the costs.