EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Germany: Employers obligation to provide skill development plans or training

Phase: Anticipation
Employers obligation to provide skill development plans or training
Last modified: 14 December, 2021
Native name:


English name:

Works Constitution Act




Under the Works Constitution Act both the employer and the works council should promote vocational training and occupational education of employees, in cooperation with the authorities responsible for training and training support. They are, however, not obliged to do so.

On request of the works council, the employer has to investigate the training demand and discuss questions regarding training. The employer and the works council have to consider enabling workers to participate in training, taking into account the company related requirements. The specific aspects of older employees, part-time employees and employees with family obligations ought to be considered.


According to the Federation Institute for Vocational Training and Education (Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung​, BIBB), the latest results of the fourth European Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS4-Z) indicate only a mediocre training provision in German establishments (Morall, 2015). About 20-25% of the training focuses on occupational safety and health and is mandatory. As indicated by the Adult Education Survey data, most training is targeting skilled workers and managerial staff. Provisions for low and unskilled workers are comparatively rare (Behringser and Schönfeld, 2014). 

The CVTS4-Z data indicate that the works council plays a positive role in the provision of further training and that further training is best institutionalised if work agreements on training or joint training committees are in place. In more than 70% of large manufacturing companies joint further training committees composed of HR staff and works council members exist. However, these committees remain rare in the service sectors.

Cost covered by
  • Employer
Involved actors other than national government
  • Works council
  • Other
Involvement others
Authorities responsible for training and training support
No, applicable in all circumstances
Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Eurofound welcomes feedback and updates on this regulation

Cuir ráiteas nua leis