Skilled worker scholarship

Current information on the skilled worker scholarship: The skilled worker scholarship scheme covers subsidised training courses in healthcare/nursing/social work, and training courses in mathematics, IT, natural sciences and technology.

The skilled worker scholarship supports training in areas where the shortage of skilled workers is particularly acute. With this aim in mind, it supports training in healthcare/nursing/social care and MINT (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology) subjects. Technical training with an environmental focus can also qualify for funding as a MINT subject. For people whose highest qualifications are school leaving qualifications or lower, preparatory courses for the extraordinary final apprenticeship examinations (→ USP) in all skilled trades are also eligible for funding. The aim is to improve workers' qualifications in order to improve their chances on the labour market. The scholarship is also meant to offer people who started training in the aforementioned areas in the past the opportunity to complete their training by obtaining supplementary qualifications. Training courses are eligible for funding if they are included in the Public Employment Service Austria (Arbeitsmarktservice - AMS) list of training courses eligible for funding, they begin no later than 31 December 2022, and are completed entirely in Austria.

Target group

  • Employees/workers (employees must be on leave for the duration of the training)
  • People who are unemployed
  • Self-employed people not currently practising their trade

who are resident in Austria and who hold qualifications no higher than Level 5 of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) - i.e. qualifications below Master Craftsman, university or specialist vocational college level.

Requirements

  • 208 weeks of employment subject to unemployment insurance contributions, or self-employment subject to pension insurance contributions, within the last 15 years,
  • taking educational and career advice before starting the scholarship and/or
  • passing the entrance examination, if applicable.

Caution

The skilled worker scholarship can only be granted as the outcome of an advice and guidance process at the Public Employment Service. Therefore, make sure you make an appointment with your regional office of the Public Employment Service in good time before you plan to start your training.

Eligible training programmes

  • Full-time training (at least 20 hours per week)
  • awarding a formal educational qualification
  • below the level of a specialist technical colleague
  • in the selected fields: Healthcare/nursing/social care and MINT, as well as for people with qualifications no higher than the compulsory school leaving certificate: Preparatory courses for the final apprenticeship examination, irrespective of the chosen skilled trade

The skilled worker scholarship can be granted for the duration of the training, for a total period of at least three months and up to a maximum of three years. The progress of the training must be documented on an ongoing basis.

If training is interrupted due to the temporary closure of the relevant training institution as a result of the pandemic, an application to extend the maximum duration of the grant can be submitted to the Public Employment Service, accompanied by confirmation of your circumstances from the training provider. A course switching from face-to-face to online teaching does not constitute grounds for an extension.

Advice

The list of courses eligible for subsidies is regularly reviewed by the administrative board of the Public Employment Service, which is composed of representatives of various societal stakeholders. As of 1 September 2021, training in the fields of nursing assistance and elementary education will be eligible for funding.

The scholarship

  • Amounts to at least the amount of the compensatory allowance (in 2021: 31.70 Euro per day) for the duration of the training (maximum three years). Existing entitlements to unemployment insurance benefits (unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance) are taken into account.
  • Recipients of the scholarship are covered by health, accident and pension insurance
  • The scholarship must be repaid in the event of a grossly negligent violation of the requirement to provide evidence
  • Additional earnings limit: ASVG - marginal employment threshold
  • Training costs are not covered. The only exception to this rule is that people with qualifications no higher than the compulsory school-leaving certificate can receive a parallel grant towards course costs.

The skilled workers scholarship is designed to cover subsistence costs incurred during training. No other payments from the Public Employment Service or unemployment insurance benefits will be made in parallel to the skilled worker scholarship, with the exception of the childcare allowance.

People in receipt of a skilled workers scholarship are entitled to take on additional marginal employment. "Pocket money" paid as part of training funded by means of a skilled worker scholarship will not be considered as financial support under the scholarship; nor will it be considered as income from self-employment or employment.

Persons who start AMS-sponsored training lasting at least four months between 1 October 2020 and 31 December 2021, and who continue to receive unemployment benefits or unemployment assistance during their training, will additionally receive an education bonus of four Euro per day as part of the Coronavirus Job Offensive.

Online advisor and calculator

Skilled worker scholarshipGerman text

Further links

Information on the skilled workers scholarship (→ AMS)German text

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Last update: 11 January 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour