Wanted: employees!

Skills shortage! For small and mid-sized companies in Germany and Europe, this is a very familiar problem that they must deal with daily. Many companies are currently suffering from the fact that the process of recruiting well-trained staff is becoming increasingly difficult and taking longer and longer. What remains is the option of recruiting skilled employees themselves – perhaps with a contractual agreement that has a lasting effect.

Repayment agreement

Anyone who graduates from the DMSB as a state-certified technician is in demand on the job market. This lays the legal foundations for a so-called repayment clause to apply. This is because some milling companies see their newly qualified technicians moving to the better-paying plant engineering sector and are therefore not so keen for their employees to go to Braunschweig. An agreement under the motto “one good turn deserves another” provides a remedy.

If the company leaves the employment contract in place and releases the employee for the duration of the training course (possibly at an agreed lower salary), it can stipulate a commitment clause in the contract. How long this commitment lasts depends on the length of the training course. In the case of a two-year training course, a commitment period of three to five years is legally conceivable. If employees terminate their contract during the commitment period, they must repay the costs – in the case of the DMSB, their salary, as the training is free of charge. The Darmstadt CIC suggests the following wording for a relevant contractual clause:

Proposed wording

“If the company has assumed the full costs of the training course with continued payment of remuneration, the employee is obliged to repay the remuneration and the training course costs if they terminate the employment relationship for a reason for which the company is not responsible, or if it is terminated by the company for a reason for which the employee is responsible. For each month of employment after the end of the training course, ___ of the total repayment amount shall be waived.

The employee is also obliged to repay the costs if they discontinue the training course ___months after it commenced without good cause. This also applies if the employment relationship is terminated by the company for a reason for which the employee is responsible.”

To companies: if you have any questions about the repayment agreement, the DMSB recommends seeking advice on employment law.

This is a win-win situation for companies and employees. The employees continue to receive a salary for their time in Braunschweig and know what will happen later, as they keep their permanent positions. Although the company supports its employees financially, it can calculate and plan effectively, because it knows the costs and when it has “its” technicians available again. If they resign, the company at least gets its invested capital back.

Good prospects with DMSB qualification

After the DMSB (and possibly a commitment period), the world is open to employees, as the skills of master millers and technicians are currently in particularly high demand on the job market. And this is also reflected in the income of so-called advanced training graduates – as revealed by an online survey of 1357 companies as part of the IW Personnel Panel 2015 by the German Economic Institute: 28% of master millers and technicians have a higher hourly wage than the average academic. Around a quarter of academics even earn less than the average graduate.

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