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Old promotion guideline for 2013/2014

This promotion guideline applies to trainees and skilled workers who received support prior to mid-2014.

You can find information and a collection of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for this group of people here.

1. Basic Information

1. Basic Information

Which are the target groups of the programme The Job of my Life?

The programme aims at young potential trainees and unemployed skilled workers from Europe who would like to take up in-company vocational training or qualified employment in a bottleneck or shortage occupation in Germany (please obtain the occupations from the skilled workers category).

Which conditions must be met?

The programme allows for support of individuals who have the right to freedom of movement for workers in the EU. They must be between 18 and 35 years of age at the time of application. Please refer to the corresponding category for the specific eligibility criteria for vocational trainees and employees.

Is there an age limit?

The applicant must be between 18 and 35 years of age at the time of application. In well-founded exceptions, e.g. in health occupations, the age limit may be lifted to include people up to 40 years of age.

Who is in charge of implementing the programme?

The International Placement Services (ZAV) of the Federal Employment Agency are solely in charge of implementing the programme "THE JOB OF MY LIFE". If you have any questions, please contact the ZAV. E-mail: thejobofmylife(at)arbeitsagentur.de Telephone: +49 228 713 1083.

Where can I apply for benefits?

Applications must be submitted to
Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV), Team 101
Villemombler Straße 76
53123 Bonn, Germany
E-mail: thejobofmylife(at)arbeitsagentur.dethejobofmylife(at)arbeitsagentur.de
Telephone: +49 228 713 1083, fax: +49 228 713 270 1080

Who can submit an application?

For individual supports, the applicant must be the potential trainee or skilled worker him-/herself.

In the case of “sponsor support”, the application, reviewing and approval of support modules for a group of young people is generally carried out jointly by a third party which acts as an applicant, a so-called “project sponsor”. In accordance with Paragraph 5.1 of the directive, in these cases benefits are non-refundable payments in the form of full financing. Provided that from its start the project is assisting at least 10 young people who make use of at least one support module, the project provider can apply for a reimbursement of any costs arising in addition to a lump sum in respect of expenses.

In principle it is possible for a project application to be made for an individual. However, no payments are made in respect of administrative costs.

The project provider can only apply for the benefits listed in the directive and accompanying Funding Index. If as a result of its networking activity, etc a project provider is in a position to offer additional integration-supporting measures, these measures are not covered by the benefit eligibility rules.

When can I submit my application?

The application must be filed with the ZAV before the event constituting the support (date of application = date received by post by the ZAV). For trainees, the initial application may not be submitted more than 12 months before the planned start of the vocational training (See Paragraph 4.1 of the Directive of 1 November 2013).

2. Trainees

2. Trainees

Who is eligible for support?

Potential trainees

  • from the EU who have the right to freedom of movement for workers,
  • who are between 18 and 35 years of age at the time of application,
  • who successfully graduated from school in their home country, and
  • who have not finished any in-company training in their home country.

Are there any other conditions that must be met in order to receive support?

Applicants need a positive placement prognosis by the ZAV or a written vocational training offer by a recognised training institution in Germany.

Which kinds of training are eligible for support?

Any initial in-company training in Germany for a state-recognised training occupation may be eligible for support.

What is a state-recognised training occupation?

State-recognised training occupation refers to one of a number of occupations regulated across the Federal Republic of Germany on the basis of Sections 4 and 5 of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) and Sections 25 and 26 of the Craft Trades Act (HWO). In that context the BBiG refers to occupations that are carried out in business establishments or similar organisations in the public sector as well as in the liberal professions, i.e. skilled and specialist occupations. Training in these occupations is carried out on a ‘dual’ basis, i.e. in both a business establishment and vocational school.

The following are also covered by the benefit eligibility rules provided that the vocational training contract required for this purpose has been concluded and registered in a training directory:

  • vocational training as part of a vocational training contract in maritime shipping based on the regulations in place in respect of the vocational training of ship mechanics and for obtaining a ship mechanic’s certificate;
  • in-company vocational training carried out in accordance with the Geriatric Nursing Act.


The website of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training provides an overview of all 348 recognised occupations as well as translations in English and French.

For which benefits can a potential trainee apply?

  • Funding of a German language course in the home country for up to 16 weeks for a maximum of 400 modular teaching units of 45 minutes each.
  • Funding of a German language course in Germany for up to 12 weeks totalling a maximum of 210 teaching units of 45 minutes each and which will accompany the internship
  • The period of the language course forms part of the internship and is to be reimbursed accordingly. The training company will allow the trainee time off to attend the language course.
  • Financial assistance for travel expenses: Travel expenses are reimbursed at a flat rate for basic distances of up to 500km (allowance of €200) or over 501km (allowance of €300). Travel allowance for interview (return journey), increasing to €200 or €300. Travel allowance for internship (return journey), increasing to €200 or €300. In addition, the outward journey to the in-company vocational training programme in Germany as well as costs in respect of a return journey to the home country in the event of the training programme being ended prematurely are also covered. In this case, the allowance for travel expenses amounts to €500 regardless of distance.
  • Financial assistance to secure a livelihood during internship and during in-company vocational training.
  • Funding for and provision of assistance with training supports (German language assistance, tutoring for topics covered in vocational training class as well as socio-educational assistance associated with the occupation)
  • German language assistance for supporting adaptation internships, socio-educational assistance associated with the occupation (Support Payment I.5) as well as assistance for securing a livelihood during the adaptation internship (Support Payment I.4) for a maximum of 12 months.

Please obtain detailed information on the individual benefits, application and verification procedures from the Funding Index (annex to the directive).

What kind of language assistance is possible in the home country?

It is possible to take a language course in your home country to prepare for the start of work in Germany. A maximum of 400 45-minute teaching units (TU) and a maximum duration of 16 weeks are eligible for support at the standard rates that apply in the home country. If you have any questions, please contact the ZAV.

Email: thejobofmylife(at)arbeitsagentur.de
Tel: +49 228 713 1083

The choice of language course provider is free.

What kind of language assistance can I receive in Germany in preparation for doing a vocational training programme?

As part of an internship preparing for vocational training it is possible to take a language course in Germany. This is conditional on the employer promising to continue paying the internship allowance for the duration of the language course (declaration of exemption).

The application must be submitted before the start of the language course. The following documentation is required:

  • Application
  • Offer of place on language course by one of the language course providers mentioned below
  • Copy of internship contract with proposed training company (contract should refer to traineeship)
  • Declaration of exemption from the training company to allow trainee to participate in language course


As part of MobiPro-EU, as of now the following providers can offer language courses in Germany on an equal basis: ESF-BAMF-recognised language course providers and Goethe Institutes; language course providers that offer integration courses (BAMF) and training providers certified in accordance with the Accreditation and Approval Regulations in respect of Employment Promotion (AZAV) (certification is to be provided at time of application).

What kind of training assistance can I receive?

Vocational training assistance (ausbildungsbegleitende Hilfen – abH-EU) is supposed to support the young people to successfully go through and complete their vocational training in Germany. Language institutions with AZAV certification can provide abH-EU measures in Germany. If required, costs can be reimbursed from the start of, and at the latest up to the completion of, the in-company vocational training programme. However, they may not be reimbursed after 31 December 2016.

The maximum period for which assistance is provided is the period up to the end of the current training year but, at the latest, for the duration of a valid certificate in accordance with Section 181.6 of the Third Volume of the German Social Code (SGB III) in conjunction with Section 5 of the AZAV or by the end of the contract agreed with the training provider in relation to training assistance in accordance with Section 75 of SGB III. After this period the application will need to be decided on again.

The amount of costs that may be reimbursed in respect of employment promotion (in accordance with sub-section 5 of the Regulations) is based on the regional BA flat rates for training assistance in accordance with Section 75 of SGB III. The level of applicable funding can be obtained from the ZAV (Tel. +49 228 713 1083 or email thejobofmylife(at)arbeitsagentur.de. Provided that there are no other arrangements with the training company, training assistance (abH-EU) is to be offered to the trainee outside of business hours or the vocational school timetable. If required, this can also be offered on Saturdays.

In accordance with sub-section 5 of the Regulations, for the total period for which assistance is provided, the duration of remedial and special classes including language assistance normally consists of at least 3 teaching hours per week (remedial and special classes including German language assistance) for each course participant. This also applies to holiday periods in the vocational training school. One teaching class lasts 45 minutes.

In accordance with sub-section 5 of the Regulations, for the total period for which assistance is provided, the scope of socio-educational assistance for the occupation in question must normally consist of at least one personal meeting per week for every course participant. At the start of the support programme, preferably this meeting should not take place on the provider’s premises. This is in order to support the social integration of the trainee into a new working and living environment. Making contact by telephone is not sufficient.

Payment is made directly to the provider every month on an arrears basis. This will be stated in the benefit notification sent to the trainee. The provider will be informed of same.

For the purposes of providing justification for payment, every three months the provider must submit written confirmation of the trainee’s regular attendance of the programme and/or a report on the nature and content of the service provided.

What kind of payment will the potential trainee receive?

During the internship preparing for vocational training, a monthly remuneration of at least EUR 200 shall be paid to the potential trainee.


The interns are subject to compulsory insurance in the German health, nursing care, pension and unemployment insurance. The internships within the special programme are employments within the framework of vocational education because they impart professional knowledge, skills and experience. They are supposed to allow potential trainees to make a decision about commencing vocational training afterwards. The internship contract is considered a contract relationship pursuant to Section 26 of the German Vocational Training Act (Berufsbildungsgesetz – BBiG). It thus constitutes employment in the sense of Section 7 Paragraph 1 Sentence 1 in connection with Section 7 Paragraph 2 SGB IV. The provisions on marginal employment do not apply to this employment for vocational education. The total amount of social insurance contribution to be paid depends on the remuneration. Please note that support benefits to secure a livelihood and other federal benefits are not considered part of the remuneration subject to contributions. If the monthly remuneration is below EUR 325, the employer will pay the total social insurance contribution alone (Section 20 Paragraph 3 Sentence 1 No. 1 SGB IV).

The training company is obliged to pay appropriate remuneration to the trainee during vocational training. For more information, please visit: Federal Ministry of Justice (Bundesministerium der Justiz) Section 10 or Federal Ministry of Justice Section 17.

So-called adaptation internships can be supported since 1 November 2013. What are the requirements?

If you have already completed school-based vocational training in your home country (no university degree) but need to gain technical hands-on experience for your qualification being recognised/considered as equal to a German qualification in Germany, you may apply for support of an adaptation internship in a training company in Germany.

Please find more information regarding the recognition of foreign qualifications at www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de.

Which documents do I need to apply for benefits?

Applications must be filed before the beginning of the adaptation internship and must include

• the certificate of the school-based vocational qualification from the home country (no university degree) and a German translation of the certificate

• the letter of recognition by the competent authority (full recognition of the necessary theoretical knowledge, gaps related to technical hands-on skills and knowledge) as well as

• an adaptation internship plan and contract with the vocational training company which are based on this letter and are approved by the competent certification body.

Which benefits can I receive during the adaptation internship?

The following support options exist during the adaptation internship:

• promotion of German language skills during the adaptation internship, socio-pedagogical assistance (benefit I.5.)

• as well as assistance to secure a livelihood during the adaptation internship (benefit I.4.) for a maximum of 12 months. The vocational training company will pay the training pay appropriate for the 3rd vocational training year during the adaptation internship.

3. Skilled Workers

3. Skilled Workers

Which conditions must be met?

  • You live in an EU country with the right to freedom of movement for workers in the EU.
  • You are between 18 and 35 years of age at the time of application (in well-founded exceptions, e.g. in health occupations, up to 40 years of age).
  • You are unemployed in your home country.
  • You would like to take up employment in a bottleneck occupation in Germany.

     

Is the programme's support offer valid for all occupational groups?

No, it is not. The labour markets in the European countries need skilled workers from other countries only when domestic skilled workers can no longer supply the required numbers.


At the moment, skilled workers are wanted in the following areas:


Technical occupations – expert level (engineers):

  • mechanical and automotive engineering professions
  • mechatronics, energy and electronics professions
  • metal and welding engineering
  • technical research and development
  • technical drawing (not design draughtsman), construction and model making
  • supply and disposal
  • computer sciences, IT application consulting, software development and programming

 

Technical occupations – skilled workers/specialists:

  • power engineering
  • plumbing, sanitary, heating, air-conditioning technology
  • vehicle guidance in railway traffic

     

     

Physicians and qualified health staff:

  • human medicine (without dentists)
  • health and nursing sector, rescue service, obstetrics (i.e. graduate professionals in health and nursing)
  • elderly care (i.e. graduate professionals in elderly care)

 

Hotel and catering industry:

  • all occupations on a skilled worker level e.g. chef, restaurant specialist, hotel clerk, professional system caterer, etc.

 

You can only receive financial support if you will continue to pursue work in one of these professions. The conditions mentioned in your employment contract must correspond to this qualified employment. The legal grounds are provided by the Germany-wide Bottleneck Analysis of the Federal Employment Agency.

For which benefits can I apply as a skilled worker?

  • Funding of a German language course in your home country and a language course in Germany that supports your specific occupation consisting of up to 680 teaching units of 45 minutes each. The applicant is free to choose in which EU Member State the class will take place. Normally, language courses in the home country are general German language courses whereas those that take place in Germany must or should focus on the occupation in question. The objective is the B2 exam in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The costs relating to taking a certificate exam are eligible for reimbursement for up to €150.
  • Travel allowance for the journey to the job interview in Germany.
  • Lump sum for moving expenses to start employment in Germany.
  • Accommodation of costs for acceptance procedures for regulated shortage occupations.
  • Funding of an extra-occupational and job-related German language course or a full-time language course in Germany, in particular for health occupations.

What kind of language assistance is possible in the home country?

It is possible to take a language course in your home country to prepare for the start of work in Germany. A maximum of 680 45-minute teaching units (TU) are eligible for support at the standard rates that apply in the home country. The applicant is free to choose whether he/she completes the language course in his/her home country or in Germany (as per new support directive w.e.f. 1 November 2013).

The choice of language course provider is free.

When do I have to apply for the language course?

The application must be submitted before the start of the language course. A quote by the language institute must be included with the application. Furthermore, a positive placement prognosis by the ZAV or a confirmation of employment by the employer must be included.

Which documents do I have to submit?

The application must be submitted before the start of the language course. The following documents are required:

  • application,
  • language course quote,
  • employment contract, and
  • employer's written declaration of paid leave of absence.

Which kind of language support will I receive in Germany?

It is possible to take a job-related full-time language course or a part-time language course in Germany. This is only possible on the condition that the employer undertakes to continue to pay the wages (paid leave of absence) for the duration of the language course. A maximum of 510 45-minute teaching units (TU) is eligible for support.


The application must be submitted before the start of the language course. The following documents are required:

  • application,
  • language course quote for a job-related German course by an institution within the ESF BAMF programme authorised by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) or a Goethe Institut,
  • employment contract, and
  • employer's written declaration of paid leave of absence.

 

Within the framework of MobiPro-EU, the following institutions are equally eligible to provide language courses in Germany: Authorised institutions offering language courses and Goethe-Institutes, language course providers offering integration courses and training institutions certified according to AZAV (labour promotion accreditation and access regulation) (certificate must be included with the application).

As a frontier worker, am I eligible for travel and/or moving allowances?

Frontier workers are not eligible for this benefit. Pursuant to Art. 1 Letter f) of the Basic Regulation (Grundverordnung, GVO), frontier worker "means any person pursuing an activity as an employed or self-employed person in a Member State and who resides in another Member State to which he returns as a rule daily or at least once a week".

Which kinds of travels are eligible for support?

Support may be granted for any travels by the skilled worker which relate to a planned start of employment in Germany. This includes both journeys to job interviews and moving expenses.

To which amount will travel and/or moving expenses be reimbursed?

A lump sum will be granted for travel expenses.


The travel allowance to the job interview is subject to the following conditions:

  • one-way travel distance of up to 500 km: EUR 200
  • one-way travel distance of more than 500 km: EUR 300

 

The moving expenses allowance when employment is taken up is a lump sum of EUR 890.

When and how can I apply for travel expenses?

The application must be submitted before the start of the journey. A written invitation by the employer must be included with the application for travel expenses allowance. The employment contract must be included with the application for reimbursement of moving expenses.

What is an acceptance procedure?

Formal acceptance of a professional qualification obtained abroad is a prerequisite for pursuing a regulated occupation in Germany. During the acceptance procedure, the foreign qualification will be reviewed by a competent authority and compared to a German qualification. Once equivalence is determined, formal acceptance is confirmed, thus granting access to a regulated occupation in Germany.

Will the costs of the acceptance procedure be reimbursed?

Yes, if this is concerning a regulated shortage occupation and the vocational qualification was obtained in an EU member state.

What is a regulated occupation?

An occupation is regulated if access to and practice of that occupation is subject to evidence of a given qualification due to legal and administrative provisions or if the occupational title is protected by law. Examples of regulated occupations in Germany include medical professions such as nursing and geriatric care.

 

An overview of regulated occupations in Germany and the respective licensing authority can be found at: Anabin.

Was ist ein reglementierter Beruf?

Ein Beruf ist dann reglementiert, wenn der Berufszugang und die Berufsausübung durch Rechts- und Verwaltungsvorschriften an den Nachweis einer bestimmten Qualifikation gebunden oder die Berufsbezeichnung gesetzlich geschützt ist. Reglementiert sind in Deutschland zum Beispiel medizinische Berufe wie Kranken- und Altenpflege.

Eine Übersicht der in Deutschland reglementierten Berufe und der jeweiligen Anerkennungsstellen ist zu finden unter: Anabin.

Which costs will be reimbursed, and to what amount?

Costs for the acceptance procedure, translations and certifications will be reimbursed. Reimbursement will amount to a total of EUR 1000, based on the costs actually incurred.

When and how do I have to apply for reimbursement of the costs of the acceptance procedure?

The application must be submitted before the start of the acceptance procedure. The educational qualification obtained abroad must be included with the application. In addition, a positive vote on the applicant's placeability by the ZAV or a job offer is required. The employer must report the job offer to the responsible employment agency in Germany.

When will the benefits be reimbursed?

The skilled worker shall provide advance payment. The required supporting documents for reimbursement include the invoice by the competent authority, invoices for translations and certifications and the records of payment.

What type of support will I receive as part of the new “First Orientation” benefit?

Unlike those offered to young people willing to take up vocational training, there is currently no comparable range of supports offered to skilled workers for the purposes of social integration. With the new “First Orientation” support modules, young skilled workers can for a maximum of 6 months receive assistance from voluntary non-profit organisations to guide them through unfamiliar structures within society as well as unfamiliar elements of the “working world”.

An application is made by the skilled worker with the following documentation:

  • Mentoring plan for the ‘first orientation’ (a short outline of the planned mentoring activities to be provided by the non-profit organisation)
  • of the volunteer mentor
  • proof of the organisation’s non-profit status
  • skilled worker’s employment contract


Payment of this support continues until the end of the six-month duration of the support and is based on a completion report prepared by the mentor working for the applying institution. If this is not completed in a timely manner at the time of billing for Modules II.1 to II.3, the current existence of the employment contract must be proved by means of a payslip from the previous month or an alternative comparable proof of employment. Payment will then be made immediately to the account of the non-profit organisation.

Click here to go back to the current promotion guideline.

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