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Giving a boost to aid schemes for training - a must in the current context of economic recovery

14.09.2021 11:45

Eco News Flash

Technological and environmental transitions are leading to major skills challenges in companies, which are further heightened by the current economic recovery taking place following the COVID-19 crisis that demands that all necessary qualifications be on hand.

In this context, many companies are faced with the need to quickly adapt the know-how and skills of their employees in order to develop their activities. Continuing vocational training (CVT) therefore appears to be essential, to upskill and reskill.

In order to promote the implementation of adequate training plans in companies, various aid schemes exist. The most popular of these, co-financing, underwent a reform in 2017. At that time, the base rate of reimbursement for training by the State went from 20% to 15%, making this scheme less advantageous for companies.

The Chamber of Commerce, considering continuing vocational training (CVT) to be one of the conditions for a dynamic, long-term economic recovery, believes that some measures should be taken so that the relevant aid is better known by companies and more widely used to benefit the greatest possible number of companies and employees. The Chamber of Commerce's May 2021 Baromètre de l'Économie bulletin that highlighted the theme of 'skills & training' mentions an under-use of the aid provided by the State, even though the current economic context requires an increased use of training to maintain or even improve the country's competitiveness. This under-utilisation could be the sign of a certain inadequacy in terms of the measures in place, particularly since the 2017 reform. However, rather than launching new aid schemes, the Chamber of Commerce recommends improving the existing ones.

The Chamber of Commerce is therefore issuing a series of 10 recommendations to improve the effectiveness of existing aid, especially the aid concerning collective access to training, the system most used by companies.

Ten recommendations to boost company training via improved collective access

1. Increase the co-financing base rate for collective access to training from 15% to 20%.

2. Apply a rate of 40% in a targeted way to support training in digital and environmental skills, and even in some key emerging skills in the context of the transformation of working environments.

3. Implement 'third party payment' for collective access to rectify the excessively long reimbursement times for companies.

4. Include self-employed workers in the scope for co-financed training in companies.

5. Support companies in developing training and career plans for their staff through targeted advice and support services, especially SMEs.

6. Broaden the scope for eligibility for co-financed training in companies by including related fees such as the cost of developing training plans, skills assessments, etc.

7. Accelerate the digitalisation of requests for co-financed training.

8. Create a single platform to inform companies and individuals about lifelong learning, the aid available, and to centralise the related procedures.

9. Increase campaigns to promote collective access and raise awareness of the need for companies and individuals to engage in lifelong learning.

10. Combine updated collective access with an approach strongly focused on skills, based on a strategy aimed at prospecting skills and professions.

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