Work, obstacle course for training funds

The State this year is making over a billion available to companies to update their staff. However, the times for using this money are tight and companies risk not being able to exploit this opportunity

Tight times to exploit the money that the state makes available to companies for employee training. At stake are one billion and 180 million euros but the refresher courses must be completed by the end of the year. And between the postponement – from February to March – to submit the applications, the wait for their approval and the summer in between, with the holidays emptying the offices, companies could overstep the limits and risk having to repay the loans received.

Fondo Nuove Competenze, how it works

A sort of obstacle course that could make it difficult to apply the second edition of the so-called “Fund for new skills”, money (mostly European) given to companies to improve the professionalism of their staff during working hours with a view to digital and ecological transition. In practice, workers and employees follow training courses for a certain number of hours (from 40 to 200) and a good part of that time (up to 70 per cent) is paid for by the State, including contributions.

The procedure for obtaining funds

To start the procedure, there must be an agreement between the company and the trade unions, and therefore the presentation of the training programme, which for the last tender had to be done by the end of March. At this point we have to wait for the green light from Anpal, the government agency that manages the funding, which – usually – arrives within a couple of months.

150 days to complete training courses

From this green light, companies have 150 days to complete training projects but, considering the summer period, it is probable that workers will only be able to go to the classroom in the autumn and, consequently, there will be little time to meet the deadlines, given that the courses can also last more than a month. In short, there is a risk of losing funding: an imminent problem for many companies and a warning to the government which, with the recent Labor decree, has decided to refinance the Fund until 2027.