Did you know that the German government funds continuing educational opportunities for unemployed residents? That’s right, eligible individuals living in Germany can obtain an educational voucher known as a Bildungsgutschein.
What is a Bildungsgutschein?
What is a Bildungsgutschein? It is an educational voucher granted by the German government to certain unemployed individuals living in Germany. The voucher funds your education or training with the goal to increase your chances of finding employment. This is made possible with the support of the Jobcenter / Agentur für Arbeit. With a Bildungsgutschein, you have the possibility to choose from thousands of certified professional training programmes available for nearly every profession and field of work. From project management to online marketing and finance & accounting, the list of available courses goes on and on.
Who grants the Bildungsgutscheine?
The Agentur für Arbeit (Employment Agency) and the Jobcenter are the entities responsible for granting the educational vouchers. What is the difference between the Jobcenter and Agentur für Arbeit? The Jobcenter is an institution that provides employment and unemployment assistance. They do so by granting unemployment benefits; “Bürgergeld” or “Citizen’s Allowance”, job search assistance, as well as educational support with the Bildungsgutchein. The Agentur für Arbeit is a German public authority. The Employment Agency is responsible for all matters relating to labour and training. If you become unemployed and have previously paid into the unemployment insurance system, the Employment Agency is your first stop.
Who can receive a Bildungsgutschein?
To qualify for an educational voucher, there are certain requirements you need to meet. To be eligible you must be:
- Living and registered in Germany
- Unemployed or soon to be unemployed
Registered or in the process of registering with the Jobcenter / Agentur für Arbeit
Furthermore, you cannot currently be a student or living in Germany with a student visa and it is advisable to hold a minimum of B1 German and/or English. However, if you currently have a mini or midi job, then you may still be eligible if you meet the other criteria.
A candidate with a good chance of obtaining an educational voucher is someone with motivation and drive for their desired course. When selecting your course you can either choose to upskill in your current profession or you can even choose to make a career change. Although it can sometimes be slightly more difficult to obtain an educational voucher to make a career change, with convincing reasons as to why this career change fits with your experiences, it is possible. This is also where Match Talent can support as you prepare for your appointment at the Jobcenter / Agentur für Arbeit.
How can you obtain a Bildungsgutschein?
The first step is to register with the Agentur für Arbeit / Jobcenter, whichever one is applicable to you. You can register with the Agentur für Arbeit using this link. Additionally you can watch our video which walks you through step-by-step on how to register, but do not worry, registering is a simple process that only takes a few minutes. Once you are registered you can then make an appointment to obtain your Bildungsgutschein. In the meantime, Match Talent is here to help you with everything you need to prepare for your appointment. With our course counselling, one of our counsellors will work with you 1:1 to help you find the right course for you from the list of possible courses in the Agentur für Arbeit’s Kursnet. Our counsellors will take your experiences, interests, and career goals into consideration when helping you find the perfect course for you. Our counsellors can even help you find a course that provides professional training along with German language instruction and intercultural qualification. Furthermore, our team is here to support you in crafting the perfect CV and motivational letter for your appointment with our regularly occurring CV workshops. When it comes time to attend your appointment, Match Talent can match you with a German speaking Buddy who can attend your appointment with you to provide personal translation support.
At your appointment if you meet all the requirements then the agent may grant you a Bildungsgutschein to take your chosen course. Prior to your appointment, you will also receive an offer letter from your chosen course provider.
With your Bildungsgutschein you can now take your chosen course! The length of your course can vary from 3 to 12 months. After the completion of your course you will be ready to tackle the German job market and find your dream job in your chosen field!
If you have more questions about the Bildungsgutschein and the process of accessing government-funded educational programmes head to our FAQ page.
If you are interested in obtaining your own Bildungsgutschein, then get in contact with the Match Talent team! We are here to support you in accessing government-funded education to support you in launching your career in Germany.