Education voucher made easy - The fast way to your free continuing education

An education voucher enables further education at no cost to the employee. However, the application for an education voucher is not always approved, because there are strict requirements for both job seekers and employees. Why an application is still worthwhile and how you can prepare so that you maximize your chances, we show you in our article with free checklist to download.

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Applying for an education voucher can be daunting. You probably automatically think of tedious bureaucracy, time-consuming administrative procedures and obscure training programs. But there is another way. In the following article, we have summarized how you can easily get an education voucher, how you can find the right professional training for you and how it can help you start your new dream job.

Banner for free download of the checklist "How does the education voucher application work".

What is an education voucher and why do you need it?

The education voucher is an official document that guarantees the complete coverage of your continuing education costs. This means that if you have received an education voucher, you can receive further vocational training free of charge. However, there is no guarantee or legal entitlement to an education voucher, also known as an AZAV voucher. It is issued by the Federal Employment Agency (BA) or the Jobcenter (JC), which will check your need for further training in advance and decide independently in a personal consultation whether to confirm or reject your claim.

But don't worry: good preparation for the interview can help you with your application and significantly increase your chances of receiving free professional development. In addition, it is possible that in some cases the costs for Travel expenses, Accommodation and Catering as well as Care costs be taken over for children.

Both jobseekers and those in employment can receive an education voucher under certain conditions and receive subsidized further training, but not everyone meets the necessary requirements. So first of all, let's clarify whether you are eligible to apply.

What are the requirements for the education voucher?

To receive an education voucher, you must meet certain requirements. If you meet one or more of the following five criteria, you can apply for an education voucher.

The criteria for applying for an education voucher are:

  1. You are currently looking for work.
  2. You are employed but at risk of unemployment.
  3. Continuing education would help secure your existing employment.
  4. Further training would facilitate your professional integration, e.g. after a longer period of incapacity to work or parental leave.
  5. You lack a vocational qualification that you need to catch up on.

In addition, your permanent residence must be within Germany and your chances of receiving funding will be better if it is foreseeable that your current job situation or your unemployment will not improve on its own without further training.

How do you get an education voucher?

If you meet the above criteria, you can talk to your case officer. Since May 2022, you have the option of taking the Apply for an education voucher online. However, you will not be able to avoid a personal interview during which your application will be approved. Where you can attend your personal interview depends on your unemployment status. You will either have to go to the Federal Employment Agency if you receive unemployment benefit 1 or to the Jobcenter if you receive Hartz 4.

Education voucher despite job? Yes, you can do that too! The Qualification Opportunity Actfit for the new requirements of the constantly changing labor market. If you are in an existing employment relationship but are threatened by unemployment, you can also register with the Federal Employment Agency. Soldiers can obtain advice from the Bundeswehr's Vocational Training Service and receive further training allowances.

You have the best chances if the further training or retraining is in the professional environment of your learned profession. For this reason, training courses in the area of digitization and data are particularly suitable, as virtually all professions are affected by the digital transformation and the demands it places on professionals are changing dramatically. It can be worthwhile to consult with your own supervisor and find out what joint advantages the professional training has for your career and your employer and whether the training qualifies you for a job role that needs to be filled in the company in the near future.

Training courses that can be taken part-time, online, and at flexible times are advantageous. In the case of part-time, full-time or face-to-face courses, you should discuss the feasibility with your supervisor. Collect these reasons to present to your caseworker during the interview. Good preparation will significantly improve your chances of obtaining an education voucher and thus having your costs covered.

Interactive PDF checklist for applying for your education voucher

Not sure if you are properly prepared for your education voucher appointment at the job center or employment agency? No problem, we have created a two-page interactive checklist to help you prepare for your application. In it, we clarify the most important questions with you and you have the ideal discussion guide to convince your case officer and get your education voucher approved.

A checklist for applying for an education voucher. StackFuel's checklist provides useful tips for your interview with the employment agency or job center.

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"If possible, you should also bring the results of your placement test with you. This certifies to the employment agency or job center that we, as a provider of continuing education, certify that you are basically suitable for the course and are likely to complete it successfully."

Which sponsored continuing education program is right for you?

Continuing education and retraining can be the path to professional fulfillment and a new, exciting career. But regular professional development is also indispensable for people who want to remain successful in their profession. But not every thematically relevant training is really suitable for you and your career.

Before choosing a sponsored further training you should therefore always ask yourself first:

  • Do you need expertise that you lack for your work?
  • Does further training improve your chances on the job market or in your existing job in the long term?
  • Are there many job openings in the profession for which you want to qualify?
  • Does the training really provide you with the in-depth, specialized knowledge you need?
  • Is the training provider of your choice accredited by the state and does it offer subsidized training?

Mary advises: "The agency will ask you why you think you can learn the content, why you of all people need this training, and whether you have a genuine interest in the profession. You will most likely be asked these questions during the interview. Therefore, it helps if you come up with good answers beforehand."

Depending on whether you are a jobseeker or in employment, you have a different amount of time and opportunities for further training. Are there certain requirements that are important to you and that the training provider should fulfill? The following points should help you to identify the criteria that could be important for your individual selection. Check:

  • The duration of the training. How much time can you invest in your training per week?
  • Whether you will incur (additional) costs, e.g. for technical equipment or materials (e.g. a laptop or PC) that you need.
  • The place where the training takes place. Can you train online or are you tied to one location?
  • What time flexibility a course offers you and whether there are fixed times.
  • Whether the training provider offers different course models. Subsidized continuing education courses for jobseekers are usually designed for full-time participation. If you are working and want to continue your education, it is important for you to know whether part-time and part-time models are also offered and how much time your employer can make available to you.
  • What support you need for the course content and whether mentoring, specialist support or even a learning community are included in the course offer. This is particularly important for training courses that are highly technical or require a lot of specialist knowledge. Personal contact with mentors, the support team or a community ensures that you never lose touch and receive support if necessary.
  • Do you receive an official certificate of completion? Does the training provider offer a career service or even job placement for specific professions?

At the end Mary another good tip for your consultation:

"It can be very helpful to bring specific job advertisements to the appointment. Based on the requirements in the advertisements, you can argue very well which skills you are currently lacking and what you would like to focus on in further training. You can also use it to show that there are advertised positions for which you can actually apply with an additional qualification."

To find state-accredited continuing education providers, you can either use the CourseNet or you can google "subsidized further training" and the profession of your choice, e.g. "data analyst".

Education voucher and now?

Your application for an education voucher has been approved, but what do you do now? From choosing the right education provider to a career change and your new job - it doesn't have to be difficult. We have summarized your educational path in 6 simple steps for you.

Your success combo: education voucher and supported further education from StackFuel

Don't be deterred and get the most out of your education certificate. We have given you many tips in this article, but also many questions that may not be so easy for you to answer. Make it easy on yourself and get the support you need to answer your questions. A consultation with the education provider of your choice can clarify many unanswered questions and clear up uncertainties so that you can make your choice with a good gut feeling. Then nothing stands in your way of a new career.

Further training in the field of digital skills and data in particular will bring you many new job opportunities or can advance your career. That's why further training in data science, with which you can Data Analyst or Data Scientist are becoming increasingly popular. Since advanced data skills are in demand in almost every profession and industry and there are not enough trained specialists in this field, they increase the chances of a simplified lateral entry into a very well-paid profession after further training.

Changing careers is not always easy, but with StackFuel's subsidized training courses, you are well prepared for the professional transition and will be supported by experienced data science mentors and career advisors during your career change. We advise you personally and find together with you the best training for you.

Banner for free download of the checklist "How does the education voucher application work".
As a true Berliner, Laura quickly joined the creative and start-up scene. After studying Media and Communications Management at Mediadesign - University of Applied Sciences, Laura was already working as an editor at IQPC, where she was responsible for the Finance, Tech, Data and AI sections and interviewed well-known industry pioneers at conventions. At StackFuel, Laura is steadily expanding the Content Lab - our diverse offering of free content, webinars, and publications.

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