Scholarships for the Working Class: Financing Further Training (Fort/Weiterbildung)

Seems as the young generation are waiting for people to beg them to study, many of those who are already working are seeking ways to gain more qualifications, what the Germans refer to as Weiter/Fortbildung. Unfortunately for most people, though going back to school or taking an extra class may be attractive, most can’t afford it and refrain from taking up such opportunities. We all know the more qualifications one has the higher their chances of getting a job and the more they earn (theoretically). If you’re out there looking for ways to finance your Weiterbildung, this post is for you:
  1. Employer- Most employers will agree to finance extra classes on the basis that you remain in that company for a specified amount of time.
  2. Tax Exemption- The State exempts you from paying taxes from €1000 you use on extra classes.
  3. Scholarships offered by the Federal Government, (these depend on the applicant’s age and income)
  • Bildungsprämie: For employed and self employed applicants who work at least 15hrs a week. The State pays 50% for the courses, but a maximum of €500. The applicant shouldn’t earn more than €20,000 brutto per annum for singles and €40,000 for married applicants. More info: Extra-Website.
  • Bildungsgutschein: Pays 100% for the course, in special cases they may also pay for the transport and accomodation costs. This is only open to unemployed applicants and not all courses can be paid for. Only courses that increase your chances in the job market are allowed. More Info: Arbeitsagentur am Wohnort.
  • WeGebAU: “Weiterbildung Geringqualifizierter und beschäftigter älterer Arbeitnehmer in Unternehmen”. The State pays 100% plus an allowance. The applicant should have minimum qualifications and have been working in a field other than that they trained in for the past 4yrs. Also people working in companies with less than 250 employees can apply for this. More Info: Arbeitsagentur vor Ort.
  • Meister-Bafög: Works almost the same as the student Bafög (Read about it here Bafög). The State gives the applicant a loan, in this case a maximum of €10.226 and the State gives the applicant 30,3% for free and the rest the applicant has to pay. The course chosen has to have at least 400hrs and should help in advancing the career of the applicant. More info: Bafög-Ämter vor Ort.
  • Aufstiegsstipendium: This is for applicants who excelled in their Ausbildung and would like to join the Uni. The applicant doesn’t have to pay back the money given. The applicant receives €670 full scholarship plus €80 for books. For the applicants who might be taking up lessons as they work, they get €2000 per annum. The applicant should have completed their Ausbildung with at worst Grade 1,9 and should have at least 2 years work experience. More Info: Stiftung Begabtenförderung berufliche Bildung.
  • Weiterbildungsstipendium: Pays not only for Uni courses but also hand work courses and language courses. The applicant doesn’t have to pay back the money given. The applicant receives a maximum of €6000 but they have to take part in a course that requires them to pay at least 10% of the costs. The applicant has to be above average at work or in their Ausbildung and should not be older than 25 years of age. More Info: derselbe, same as Aufstiegsstipendium.

For those who might be earning more than allowed or are older than the allowed age for the federal scholarships, you can look into scholarships offered by the single States.

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