3. Money: financial support during your training

You’ve probably thought about finding your own flat or finding a shared flat to get on your own two feet and start your independent life away from your parents. Sometimes, money simply doesn’t stretch to cover your cost of living.

Trainees taking part in vocational preparation schemes or dual, industry-wide or non-commercial training can apply for Occupational Training Support (BAB) from the Ministry for Work. If certain requirements are met, additional housing, clothing and travel costs may also be subsidised. Trainees in full-time training cannot apply for BAB, but can apply for student finance (BAföG).

The calculations behind the BAB and BAföG are similar: firstly, your “need for living costs” is established, depending on your age, familial status and accommodation situation. Your own training salary is taken into account, along with your parents’ income and your partner’s income if you are married. On www.bafoeg-aktuell.de you can find more information about the requirements, amounts and allowances for BAB and BAföG. You can unofficially work out how much of a claim you would have on www.bab-rechner.arbeitsagentur.de.

In any case, you should apply for financial support: you can apply for BAB at your local Ministry for Work, while BAföG student support can be applied for at your Ministry for Educational Support. Even a small contribution means more independence.

Before submitting your application, you should ask for advice from your union.You could be subject to a tariff contract, meaning that you have a claim to more money – your local union will be able to tell you for sure.

If your application for training support is rejected, for example because you are taking part in training for the second time or your career is not recognised by the state, you can still apply for housing benefit. As an adult trainee (over 18) renting accommodation, you would have a good chance of being granted housing benefit. You should apply for housing benefit in the district where your accommodation is situated.

Your parents can also apply for child support during school, university education and training, while you are looking for a training place, during voluntary work (e.g. year out to do social or ecological voluntary work) or during an interim period of no longer than four months e.g. between training modules. Requirement: you are under 25 and are taking part in your first training programme or looking unsuccessfully for a training place or looking for a job after finishing your training, and you are not working any more than 20 hours per week. As there are many details to keep in mind, many circumstances to take into account and a lot of “buts” and “ifs”, you should contact your union for advice if you are in any doubt. You can download a “Child Support Information Sheet” from your local Ministry for Work on www.arbeitsagentur.de.

If you would like to earn extra cash, you could get a part-time job. Keep in mind: you must inform your employer/trainer about your other job and make sure that you keep to legal maximum work times. Your employer/trainer can only prevent you from having another job if it is against their interests. This could be the case if the part-time job could affect your training or you want to start working for a competitor. You should contact your union for advice to make sure that your part-time job doesn’t result in you losing your claim to training support, BAföG or child support.

 4. Occupational health and safety: keeping you safe!