Hamburg launches "Bridges to Apprenticeships" scheme

Funding scheme to motivate SMEs despite corona
21 May 2021

The Ministry for Social Affairs is putting EUR 1 million towards the "Bridges to Training" scheme to encourage companies to hire young people with vocational or entry qualifications as apprentices, a press release said Tuesday (May 18, 2021). This is part of the senate’s strategy to help SMEs provide in-company training and to increase the number of apprenticeships despite the pandemic.

Scheme to start in August

Melanie Leonhard, Senator for Social Affairs, remarked: "I can understand that companies might be hesitant about offering young people an apprenticeship now because of financial losses or uncertain business expectations." However, it is important that companies continue to train qualified skilled workers despite the coronavirus-induced crisis. Companies with up to 249 employees can apply to the Hamburg Investment and Development Bank (IFB) for a grant from August 1, 2021. A subsidy of up to EUR 4,800 is available for each trainee position.

Takeover to become more attractive

To qualify for the grant, trainees must have completed a vocational qualification (BQ) or entry-level qualification (EQ) as part of the Hamburg training model and have already become acquainted with their training company. "The participants in the vocational and entry-level qualification schemes in particular have made a conscious decision in favour of an apprenticeship and are very motivated. That helps us meet the skilled labour needs of Hamburg's labour market in future," said Leonhard. 



Vocational qualification (BQ) and introductory qualification (EQ)

The BQ and EQ courses places young people as trainees in companies. The BQ course is similar to school and is done in co-operation with companies and training providers. The content and length of the first year is in accordance with the Vocational Training Act or the Crafts Code. During the qualifying phase, the participants complete practical internships in companies. The EQ is a long-term, in-company internship and teaches basic  skills and knowledge in the targeted occupation.