Training place fee

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Action by the Hamburg youth union

An apprenticeship fee has been under discussion in Germany as a political means of controlling the availability of apprenticeships at the latest since the early 1970s. It is understood as a special levy that a company has to pay to the state or a body that has yet to be set up if the company does not employ enough trainees . The money, minus the necessary administrative expenses, is intended to subsidize training places. Such a training place tax was decided under the name of the vocational training tax in the Training Place Promotion Act of 1976. In 1980 the Federal Constitutional Court declared the law to be unconstitutional.

This political discussion regularly increases in intensity when the supply of training places becomes scarce in relation to young people willing to train.

Other names for training levy: training delivery , training place levy , trainee delivery , training assessment and apprenticeship levy , vocational training safety levy.


The 1976 vocational training tax

In the times of the economic miracle after the Second World War, there was full employment in Germany . The situation on the labor market changed around 1970 : the unemployment rate rose to 5% in the mid-1970s. For the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany , it was not a matter of course for young people willing to train to get a training position. In 1976, the Social-Liberal Coalition passed the Apprenticeship Promotion Act, including a vocational training tax to be paid by companies as a special tax . It should finance inter-company training or grants for in-company training. The Federal Cabinet should check annually whether there is a shortage of apprenticeships (according to Section 2 Paragraph 1 Clause 1 APlFG, a minimum overhang of apprenticeship places of 12.5% ​​of the apprenticeship places offered). This determination was not made because the apprenticeship situation did not justify this. In 1980 the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that this law required the approval of the Bundesrat . Since the Federal Council never approved this, the law did not take effect.

2004 bill

On May 7, 2004, the training place tax was passed in the Bundestag with the votes of the Red-Green government coalition . On June 11, 2004, the law was rejected by a large majority in the Federal Council.

Federal Labor Minister Franz Müntefering (SPD), Vice Chancellor of the black-red federal government, declared in spring 2006: “There will be no levy. This discussion is closed ”.

Situation at the beginning of the 21st century in Germany

At the beginning of the 1990s, more than 100,000 training positions were regularly unfilled each year. That number had dropped to 14,840 by September 30, 2003. There were 35,015 apprenticeship applicants who could not find an apprenticeship position. This disparity worsened considerably.

In the statistics of the Federal Employment Agency from October 11, 2006, there were 49,500 applicants without a training position (9,000 more than in 2005) compared to 15,400 vacant training positions. For some years now, however, large parts of the apprenticeship or unemployed career starters under the so-called "U25 measures" (measures for under twenty-five year olds) in the Hartz concept under ALG2 have been obliged to take mostly one-year so-called "vocational preparation measures" ( SGB II §2 "Principle des Demanding "), which means that they are officially excluded from the statistics of the Federal Employment Agency as applicants for an apprenticeship. The DGB points out that the statistics of the Federal Employment Agency suppress around 100,000 other young people in “queues” in “vocational preparation measures”; whereas the Federal Employment Agency emphasizes that these do not belong in the statistics because they are not officially looking for an apprenticeship position.

In the area of ​​geriatric care professions, a pay-as-you-go apprenticeship fee was introduced in some federal states in 2012.
The introduction took place nationwide for construction and finishing trades. Tradespeople who are liable to pay contributions pay 20.4% of the gross wages of their industrial workers to the Sozialkasse-Bau. This includes 2.1% for vocational training. Companies whose contribution to the vocational training procedure is less than € 900 must top up their payment, as the general binding declaration (AVE) for the collective agreement on the social security fund procedure in the construction industry was published in the Federal Gazette on July 14, 2015. Section 17 provides for the minimum contribution to vocational training for all companies subject to social security contributions - also for around 40,000 individual entrepreneurs in construction and finishing trades.


Increase or decrease the number of training places

One goal of the apprenticeship fee is to increase the number of apprenticeships. This is to be achieved by paying non-training companies into a fund. Opponents of this criticize false incentives, since companies typically train above average in growth sectors and below average in shrinking economic sectors. This creates incentives to create apprenticeships in less promising sectors. Since the incentive tends to affect companies whose own personnel planning does not see any additional need for employees in the future, the proportion of apprentices who are taken on after their training falls .

Consideration was given to determining the number of apprenticeship places required each year and assigning each company a quota that it would have to train. If a company has fewer trainees than corresponds to the quota, it must pay into a training fund to support companies that take on more trainees than corresponds to their quota. It is also intended to help finance training projects for young people.

The discussion about the vocational training tax in the 1970s was part of a more comprehensive discussion in which the DGB and parts of the political left wanted to replace the system of dual training with a system of state vocational schools, which are to be given practical relevance through company internships. This would have limited the influence of companies on training. Financing should come from a training levy to be paid by the economy. Due to opposition from the economy, these far-reaching plans were not implemented. At the end of the 1970s, the attacks on dual training subsided. Most of the later advocates of a training place tax no longer rejected the dual training system. The use of funds determines whether a training place fee strengthens or weakens the dual training system. If the funds flow in forms of inter-company training, company training is weakened; if the funds are used to subsidize company training, there is no weakening.

According to the Confederation of German Employers' Associations, the levy will destroy jobs. It also runs counter to the goals of reducing bureaucracy , lowering non-wage labor costs and strengthening collective bargaining autonomy . The Central Association of German Crafts considers the concept to be centralized and criticizes it as combating the symptoms instead of the causes. The Ifo Institute sees certain industries being subsidized .

Combating bogus self-employment

The increase in the training tax to the minimum contribution of € 900 per year also served to reduce incentives for bogus self-employment.

Political situation

While the unions and the left are in favor of a training fee, the CDU and business associations are strictly against it. The SPD is currently at odds over this issue, but the levy has been a decision of the party since the 1996 Cologne Party Congress.

Situation in other countries

The system of dual vocational training is rare outside of the German-speaking area. In other countries, vocational training is often provided by the state. In some cases, companies there are also used to finance their training place fees. For example, companies in France have had to pay a payroll tax of 0.5% as a vocational training tax since 1925; in Brazil there is a comparable tax at a rate of 1%.

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Judgment of the BVerfG
  2. ( Memento of 22 August 2007 at the Internet Archive )
  3. ( Memento from October 22, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  4. a b  ( not page more accessible , searching web archivesInfo: The link is automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  5. a b c ( Memento from December 11, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  6. ^ Ulrich Eisenbach: Dual Vocational Training in Hessen, 2010, ISBN 978-3981226546 , pp. 324–328
  7.  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  8. ( Memento from July 1, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  9. OECD: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Life: A Strategic Concept for Skills Policy , 2012, ISBN 9789264179479 , p. 41, online