Germany earmarks €500 mil to boost training

Workers complete an electric car body at the Volkswagen AG assembly line in Zwickau, Germany on Feb 25. (AP pic)

BERLIN: Germany plans to make €500 million available to firms to prevent a collapse in-company training and apprenticeships due to the coronavirus crisis, a document seen by Reuters on Sunday showed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has already agreed two stimulus packages totalling €880 billion to mitigate the impact of lockdown to contain the pandemic as Europe’s biggest economy braces for its worst recession since World War Two.

“We must prevent the Covid-19 crisis from turning into a crisis for the professional future of young people and for securing skilled workers,” said an outline of the plan, due to be approved by Merkel’s cabinet on Wednesday.

The programme includes a training bonus of up to €3,000 for small and mid-sized companies that have been hit hard by the crisis.

Aid will also be available to firms that avoid putting apprentices on a short-time work scheme or if they take on trainees from insolvent firms.