Tel mee met Taal (Count on skills) programme employer subsidies
Each year, the Tel mee met Taal (Count on skills) programme offers subsidies for activities aimed at preventing and reducing low-literacy. If you are an employer in either the European or the Caribbean Netherlands, you can apply for one of these subsidies again in 2021 to invest in your employees’ foundational skills. An additional 6 million euros will be incidentally made available in 2021, raising the programme’s total subsidy budget to 8.8 million euros.
In addition to employers, organizations such as schools, libraries, youth healthcare institutions, preschool facilities and other organizations can also apply for subsidies to reduce and prevent low-literacy. These subsidies could be used, for example, to promote literacy among parents, or to set up literacy-related experiments.
Investing in basic workplace skills (such as language skills, arithmetic and/or digital literacy) offers a number of advantages, not only for your employees, but also for you as an employer. By making these kinds of investments, your employees will make fewer mistakes, and work-related stress and absenteeism will be reduced. Employees also generally become more self-confident and gain the ability to work more independently thanks to basic skills training. Many employers who have invested in language courses report that their employees communicate more efficiently and effectively as a result, and that they feel more involved in what goes on at their organization.
As an employer, you can apply for a subsidy for employee training. These training activities should improve your employees’ language skills, arithmetic and/or digital literacy. The subsidy can also be used for freelancers who work for your company, or for other flexible workers whose services you use. These could be temp workers, employees on a trial placement, sheltered workers, etc.
For the purposes of the subsidy, it is irrelevant whether or not the employees’ first language is Dutch, and the subsidy may be used for migrant workers as well. Use of the subsidy is not restricted to one single training programme; it can be used for multiple training programmes. Please note that the subsidy may only be spent on employees with a language level below 2F.
- Under the previous scheme, you were required to spend the full subsidy amount on the training programme. Under the new scheme, you may use up to 15% of the subsidy amount for preparation and aftercare. Preparation activities include employee recruitment and determining which training programmes would be most appropriate for them. Aftercare, on the other hand, involves helping employees look for additional training, promoting the programme’s results within your organization, or incorporating them into your HR policy. The range of evaluation options has also been broadened. As a subsidy recipient, you can opt for self-evaluation, impact measurement or tracking learning outcomes or test results.
- The subsidy may only be used to improve your employees’ language proficiency in one of your country’s official languages. For employers in the European Netherlands, this is Dutch. For employers in the Caribbean Netherlands, this is Dutch, Papiamentu and English.
- You can submit a subsidy application on your own behalf as an employer, but also on behalf of yourself and one or more other employers. In the latter case, the employer who submits the application will act as budget holder. R&D funds and educational organizations can also act as budget holder for one or more employers.
The following applies for all subsidy flows: the maximum subsidy amount per application is €125,000, and in some cases employers will be required to contribute to the training costs themselves. If the subsidy budget is exceeded, we will draw lots.
These are the amounts for the Caribbean Netherlands:
|Category||Total amount available||Min. amount per subsidy application||Max Amount per subsidy application||Max. amount per participant||Compensated up to|
|Employees||€ 8.8 mln||N/A||€ 125.000||€ 1500||67%|
|Parents||€ 1.3 mln||N/A||€125,000 in case of 33% co-financing or €83,750 in case of 0% co-financing||€ 600||67 or 100%|
|Experiments||€ 625.000||€ 25.000||€ 125.000||N/A||80%|
In case lots are drawn
If the applications exceed the subsidy budget, we will draw lots to determine which subsidy applications will be approved. This will ensure that everyone is treated fairly. Once the application deadline has passed, a notary will draw lots, after which DUS-I (the Dutch subsidy implementation agency) will check the applications for completeness and validity. DUS-I’s website offers more information about the draw procedure.
How to apply
You can apply from 1 January until 28 February 2021, Central European Time. DUS-I will implement the Tel mee met Taal (Count on skills) subsidy scheme. Read more about the scheme on their website, or go there to submit your application. DUS-I’s contact details are also listed on their website, should you have any questions. The full Tel mee met Taal (Count on skills) subsidy scheme for 2021-2024 can be found in the Government Gazette.
New round, new opportunities
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