Employees with a monthly net income below EUR 1 800 may receive pubic contributions to their costs for education and training. The eligible education and training activities have to be relevant for the current occupation of the learner and have to be provided by an approved training provider. The co-funding share is 50% of the costs for education and training up to a maximum of EUR 200 (for one training).
All members of the Chamber of Labour of Lower Austria can apply for the grant with a special treatment for unemployed persons and parents. The eligible activities include training in priority sectors (e.g. health sector), the procedures for recognition of foreign diplomas, the “Berufsreifeprüfung” and the apprenticeship or the preparatory courses for the university of applied science/colleges. The Chamber's co-funding share is 50% of the eligible costs, up to a maximum amount of EUR 120 per year. The unemployed and parents receive higher co-funding share/maximum amount.
Members of the Chamber of Labour in Vienna can apply for the grant. The eligible education and training activities include computer and IT courses, job-related courses in the areas of work organisation and work environment, and language courses. The co-funding is fixed with an absolute amount of money (in 2014: EUR 150).
Companies networks composed of at least three companies where at least 50% of them are SMEs can apply for the grant. Funding is provided for building and operating the confederation, identifying training needs and designing training plans, advising on the development of HRD programs, organising trainings, providing support during the application process, etc.
Beneficiaries of this scheme include all types of learners (employees, persons with parental leave benefit, persons on parental leave, marginally employed, unemployed, self-employed, entrepreneurs with a maximum of 5 employees) as long as they are residents of Upper Austria. However, only adults without higher education entrance exam ("Matura") as highest form of education are eligible. There are exceptions for university graduates with gross income of less than EUR 2 200 per month. The co-funding share is 50% of the costs for training and education.
Companies with employees who have only completed compulsory education, an apprenticeship or a vocational school and are 45 years or older are entitled to apply for the grant to finance training activities (for each group there are specific conditions in relation to the training funded). Generally, public co-funding is 50% of the eligible costs. Funding is provided by the local branches of the Austrian Pubic Employment Service (AMS), following national rules; however, local differences in cost sharing formulas are possible. Beyond social security payments, ESF funds are used as an additional source of funding.
Companies of the construction sector in Styria can apply for the grant to finance their training costs. Co-funding is 50% of the eligible costs. The eligible education and training activities have to be listed in a specific program.
Sozial- und Weiterbildungsfonds der Arbeitskräfteüberlassung Österreichs
On 1 January 2014, the new law provided for the establishment of a ‘social and further training fund’. It is the first national training fund in Austria. A similar fund had already been established for blue-collar workers, but based on a collective agreement. The new fund is based on a national law and will apply to both white and blue-collar workers.
Agencies that offer temporary work are obliged by law to contribute a fixed share of their payroll costs (2014: 0.35%; by 2017: up to 0.8%) to a training fund and may receive partial reimbursement of their training costs such as course fees and wage costs. Agencies can receive subsidies up to 100% (occasionally 200%) of their contributions to the fund. Former temporary agency workers (currently unemployed) are also eligible for training subsidies (under specific conditions).
Adults can deduct costs related to their continuing vocational training for their current or future occupation from the base of their individual income tax. The public co-funding – in the form of foregone tax revenues - equals to the eligible costs multiplied by the marginal tax rate (between 36.5 and 50% in 2014). No ceiling is introduced for the amount/share of training costs to be deducted.
Individuals with non-taxable income (below EUR 11 000) cannot profit from this scheme. No comprehensive statistical information on beneficiaries and volumes of funding is available.
A tax credit equal to 6% of the eligible training costs was offered to companies without profits or to companies for which this tax credit scheme was more favourable compared to the alternatively available tax allowance scheme. Only costs for external training were eligible. The scheme was terminated in the end of 2015 for a perceived lack of effectiveness in increasing companies' training activities, as part of a tax reform package.
Employers and employees can agree on a payback clause. In compensation for employer-provided/financed training, employees commit themselves to stay in the company for an agreed period. According to the Labour Code, the retention period must not exceed 5 years (8 years in specific cases, e.g. very costly training, such as pilot-training). Upon employee's voluntary termination of employment contract before the agreed period, the employer may recover (part of) training costs.
Employees can take a leave from 2 to 12 months (within a period of 4 years) for full-time education while receiving a wage replacement payment equal to 55% of the latest net income. Wage replacement payment is also available to employees who pursue part-time education and have their working hours reduced. Employees taking the leave have the right to return to their workplace. The employer needs to agree with the leave. Since its last whole-sale reform (2007), the training leave scheme has grown into the single most important co-funding scheme in Austria.
The training tax allowance (granted by Federal tax law) allowed for deduction of up to 120% of external training costs from taxable income. With regards to internal training, tax allowance was available under specific conditions.
Only companies with profits could benefit from the scheme. Companies with no profits could use tax credit. The tax credit was also alternatively available to those companies for which this scheme was more favourable than tax allowance (NB: for majority of companies, the tax credit was more favourable).
The training tax allowance scheme was terminated in the end of 2015 for a perceived lack of effectiveness in increasing companies' training activities, as part of a tax reform package.
Companies receive public contributions to their training costs in the form of hourly flat-rate financial subventions per worker (6 EUR per worker). SMEs and businesses located in the so-called "development areas" receive additional funding.
Companies in the Walloon region may receive public grant to cover costs of training their employees. The amount granted to the company is EUR 10 per hour of training, with EUR 1 per hour increase if the person trained is low skilled. The maximum amount the company may receive is EUR 80 000 over a period of 2 years. Training programme should last from 6 months to 1 year.
Companies offering indefinite contracts to job seekers or job seekers starting new business can apply for this public grant. The public co-funding share is 50% of the costs for education and training. Training courses/programmes provided by accredited training institutions are eligible.
Companies willing to hire specific groups of people (such as the unemployed, handicapped persons or persons with insufficient knowledge of Dutch, who then receive language training) may receive public contributions to the costs of their training. The employer develops a training plan for each person. In addition, the person may follow external training which is related to the job the person is aiming at. The share of co-funding and the maximum amount are variable, depending on the job and the minimum wage.