June 14, 2020 / 8:15 AM / 25 days ago

Germany earmarks $563 million to boost training

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany plans to make 500 million euros ($563 million) available to firms to prevent a collapse in company training and apprenticeships due to the coronavirus crisis, a document seen by Reuters on Sunday showed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has already agreed two stimulus packages totaling 880 billion euros to mitigate the impact of a lockdown to contain the pandemic as Europe’s biggest economy braces for its worst recession since World War Two.

“We must prevent the COVID-19 crisis from turning into a crisis for the professional future of young people and for securing skilled workers,” said an outline of the plan, due to be approved by Merkel’s cabinet on Wednesday.

The program includes a training bonus of up to 3,000 euros for small and mid-sized companies that have been hit hard by the crisis. Aid will also be available to firms that avoid putting apprentices on a short-time work scheme or if they take on trainees from insolvent firms.

Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Mark Potter

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