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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.11 Current debates and reforms

Forthcoming policy developments

Taskforce Youth Unemployment and the COVID-19 pandemic

In order to mitigate the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic and related measures have brought about for young people on the labour market (as depicted in Chapter 3.1), the Federal government conducted a survey on 'Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth and the youth sector' and established several measures to support the current situation of young people in regard to the labour market.

Incentives to employers to hire young people
  • Apprenticeship Bonus (March 2021 – October 2021)

A bonus that ensures companies €2,000 for newly admitted apprentices. Micro enterprises receive an additional raise of €1,000 and smaller enterprises receive an additional bonus of €500. The fundamental criterion here is the date of the apprenticeship contract. More information can be found online

  • Take-over bonus

A one-off bonus that ensures companies €1,000 for taking on an apprentice from a supra-company apprenticeship. More information can be found online.  

Measures that protect young employees

More recently, corona short-time work was also made available for apprentices in order to preserve apprenticeship positions and to support the companies. In 2020, approximately half of all apprentices (approximately 53,000) were working under short-time work conditions at least temporarily. The seemingly positive effect of short-time work for apprentices is visible when inspecting the stable development of apprenticeship numbers in training companies which is why this concept was extended until the end of March 2021.

Measures to avoid job insecurity and precariousness 

To raise the number of apprenticeship positions in supra-company apprenticeships (Überbetriebliche Lehrausbildung ÜBA), the Training Guarantee was extended, and additional funds were made accessible. Thus, the number of apprenticeship positions in supra-company apprenticeships increased by 3,000 to 14,500 places. This measure targets young people, willing to start an apprenticeship but unable to find an in-company apprenticeship position. More information can be found at the Public Employment Services (PES; Arbeitsmarktservice, AMS).

Measures regarding information on employment 
  • Online apprentice service

The PES has created an online apprenticeship service, encompassing all the important information on finding an apprenticeship for young people and transmitting that to an expert advisor. As a result, personal interviews can be arranged with a preferred appointment.

  • Information line for coaching for apprentices and companies offering apprenticeships

Established in April 2020, this information line handles the great influx of COVID-19-induced questions concerning apprenticeships.

Adaptations in career guidance and counselling 

Expansion of low-threshold offers: the low threshold offers - Youth Coaching, AubsildungsFit (core-measures) - are being strengthened in 2021.

Interministerial COVID-19 taskforce on youth employment and apprenticeship training

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a joint taskforce on youth employment entitled 'Ensuring apprenticeship training for all young people' ("Lehrausbildung für alle Jugendlichen sichern" ) was set up by the Federal Ministries of Labour (in German), Digital and Economic Affairs (in German), Education, Science and Research and Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection. The collaboration aims to provide young people who have completed compulsory schooling with an in-company, inter-company or school-based training place in order to close the gap of open places (in June 2020: a demand of 7.673 apprenticeship positions, with vacancies of only 4.962 ammounts to a lack of around 2.700 positions for young people) that the pandemic has created. In a first step, 1.000 additional training positions were created.