Changes to internship subsidies in the Netherlands Changes to internship subsidies in the Netherlands

Changes to internship subsidies in the Netherlands
27 Jul 2018

As knowledge is one of the Netherlands most important exports, it is unsurprising that education is highly valued in the country. As a result, the Dutch government tries to ensure that young people experience a smooth transition between study and work by encouraging employers to provide internships. To this end, it provides a subsidy of up to €2,700 (US$3,156) a year per intern.

Although this subsidy is not new, it is worth mentioning that:

  • Now is a good time to apply for it;
  • Recent legislation has expanded the number of people it applies to;
  • Controls are becoming stricter;
  • While the current legislation is scheduled to end on 31 December, an extension may be introduced.

Aim of the subsidy

The subsidy is an allowance to cover the costs incurred by employers in providing an internship. The sum also contributes towards the intern’s salary and a PhD student or technological designer in training’s (toio) supervision costs.

The subsidy scheme is targeted mainly at:

  • Vulnerable labour market groups for whom youth unemployment is a major problem;
  • Students who undertake courses in sectors where there is a shortage of qualified personnel;
  • Scientific staff considered indispensable to the Dutch knowledge economy.

When to apply

For the school year 2017/2018, which runs from 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018, applications must be submitted between 2 June 2018 (09.00 hours) and 17 September 2018 (17.00 hours). It is possible to apply for a subsidy for vocational training during the 2017/2018 school year. It is likewise possible to submit the application after the vocational training has ended.

Applications must be submitted digitally via ‘eLoket’ on the Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s website, RVO.nl, and to log on will require a level one eRecognition token. To support your application, information will be required that should already be in your possession such as a practical learning agreement. But be sure to apply as soon as possible after the vocational training is complete. 

Note: Use the new CSV files for interns undertaking VMBO  (preparatory secondary vocational education) and MBO (senior-level secondary vocational education and training)  courses, which are listed on my.rvo.nl.  Be aware that last year’s old files will no longer work.

Changes in legislation

To be eligible for a subsidy, it is necessary to meet a number of conditions. These can differ per education category: VMBO, MBO-BBL, HBO (Bachelor’s degree in applied science), PhD students and toios. As of the 2017/2018 school year, VSO (secondary education for learners with special needs), PRO and entry-level VMBO students will be eligible for subsidies too.

Stricter controls

There is no need to show documentary evidence when submitting a digital application, but it could be asked for if you are inspected by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) at a later date. While the RVO’s lack of regulations over what these documents should look like makes life easier for employers in one way, in another, it makes it more difficult to anticipate possible areas for future investigations. If a probe does take place though, it is worth bearing in mind that, in the past, the Agency has checked that:

  1. Agreements have been signed by all (three) parties involved in the education-work relationship;
  2. Interns’ attendance records and the numbers of hours they have worked are in order;
  3. Supervision has taken place on how professional training is progressing and whether learning objectives, qualities and qualifications have been achieved in relation to vocational training.

The second and third points tend to be the biggest areas of contention. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure this documentation is detailed enough to ensure the subsidy does not end up being reclaimed.

Last chance to apply?

The legislation regarding the intern subsidy formally ends on 31 December this year, but the Dutch government will decide on whether to continue it into 2019 and beyond this summer.

Niels Woudstra 

Niels Woudstra is a senior advisor for Alfa Accountants and Advisors’ department of personnel and payroll and is based at its international headquarters in the Netherlands. He specialises in Dutch payroll and staffing matters and also lectures on labour law, social security, employment tax and HR management at a range of business schools.

 

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As knowledge is one of the Netherlands most important exports, it is unsurprising that education is highly valued in the country. As a result, the Dutch government tries to ensure that young people experience a smooth transition between study and work by encouraging employers to provide internships. To this end, it provides a subsidy of up to €2,700 (US$3,156) a year per intern.

Although this subsidy is not new, it is worth mentioning that:

  • Now is a good time to apply for it;
  • Recent legislation has expanded the number of people it applies to;
  • Controls are becoming stricter;
  • While the current legislation is scheduled to end on 31 December, an extension may be introduced.

Aim of the subsidy

The subsidy is an allowance to cover the costs incurred by employers in providing an internship. The sum also contributes towards the intern’s salary and a PhD student or technological designer in training’s (toio) supervision costs.

The subsidy scheme is targeted mainly at:

  • Vulnerable labour market groups for whom youth unemployment is a major problem;
  • Students who undertake courses in sectors where there is a shortage of qualified personnel;
  • Scientific staff considered indispensable to the Dutch knowledge economy.

When to apply

For the school year 2017/2018, which runs from 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018, applications must be submitted between 2 June 2018 (09.00 hours) and 17 September 2018 (17.00 hours). It is possible to apply for a subsidy for vocational training during the 2017/2018 school year. It is likewise possible to submit the application after the vocational training has ended.

Applications must be submitted digitally via ‘eLoket’ on the Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s website, RVO.nl, and to log on will require a level one eRecognition token. To support your application, information will be required that should already be in your possession such as a practical learning agreement. But be sure to apply as soon as possible after the vocational training is complete. 

Note: Use the new CSV files for interns undertaking VMBO  (preparatory secondary vocational education) and MBO (senior-level secondary vocational education and training)  courses, which are listed on my.rvo.nl.  Be aware that last year’s old files will no longer work.

Changes in legislation

To be eligible for a subsidy, it is necessary to meet a number of conditions. These can differ per education category: VMBO, MBO-BBL, HBO (Bachelor’s degree in applied science), PhD students and toios. As of the 2017/2018 school year, VSO (secondary education for learners with special needs), PRO and entry-level VMBO students will be eligible for subsidies too.

Stricter controls

There is no need to show documentary evidence when submitting a digital application, but it could be asked for if you are inspected by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) at a later date. While the RVO’s lack of regulations over what these documents should look like makes life easier for employers in one way, in another, it makes it more difficult to anticipate possible areas for future investigations. If a probe does take place though, it is worth bearing in mind that, in the past, the Agency has checked that:

  1. Agreements have been signed by all (three) parties involved in the education-work relationship;
  2. Interns’ attendance records and the numbers of hours they have worked are in order;
  3. Supervision has taken place on how professional training is progressing and whether learning objectives, qualities and qualifications have been achieved in relation to vocational training.

The second and third points tend to be the biggest areas of contention. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure this documentation is detailed enough to ensure the subsidy does not end up being reclaimed.

Last chance to apply?

The legislation regarding the intern subsidy formally ends on 31 December this year, but the Dutch government will decide on whether to continue it into 2019 and beyond this summer.

Niels Woudstra 

Niels Woudstra is a senior advisor for Alfa Accountants and Advisors’ department of personnel and payroll and is based at its international headquarters in the Netherlands. He specialises in Dutch payroll and staffing matters and also lectures on labour law, social security, employment tax and HR management at a range of business schools.

 

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Is it all over for the 'all-in' salary in the Netherlands?

Understanding the complexities of Dutch employment law

Expats in Netherlands to see tax breaks cut to five years