AVGS and funded job coaching is a German employment promotion tool. It’s also available for Internationals seeking a job. However, only a few professionals from abroad have insider knowledge of how AVGS and Job Coaching & Guidance in Germany works. The term „AVGS“ refers to vouchers that the employment agency or job center may issue to a jobseeker.
Few people know that they may request support and a personal job coach to help them get into a job. In this article, I teach you more about the German AVGS-Voucher and how it works. Also, as I’ve been guiding Internationals via AVGS, I share a few examples of my work experience. And, if you’re interested to learn about the ALIGN-Program, which is created by MyJobGermany for Internationals in Germany, you find information at the very end.
That’s what we cover in this article:
Does AVGS apply for international professionals in Germany?
Yes, it does. Or may. Because there are many foreign or international people from outside the EU who live and work in Germany.
For an AVGS funding to obtained the individual situation of a person is taken into account. Naturally, the respective residence titles/ visa type and work permit that an international person holds as well.
For people who have lost their jobs, AVGS vouchers may be issued to significantly shorten the period of prospective unemployment.
Professionals who haven’t been employed in Germany yet may also be supported via AVGS.
To really understand how this works with the AVGS and how you too might qualify for this kind of funding, let’s start at the beginning.
That is, with an explanation of what an AVGS actually is.
Shall we dive into the depths of the AVGS funding? Ok. let’s get started
What is the AVGS?
The activation and placement voucher from the job center or the employment agency, AVGS for short, is issued to support people to get (back) into the labor market. Individual career counseling and coaching, further training, and also placement can be financed.
#1 What is the aim of AVGS?
The goal of the AVGS vouchers is to support people individually in their situation to enter or re-enter the labor market. Ultimately, AVGS vouchers are a means of employment promotion and should help achieve politically important goals.
#2 Technical terms around AVGS
🔑 GERMAN TERM
AVGS = Abbreviation for „General Activation and Placement Voucher“.
„Maßnahme“/ Measure = individual offers outsourced to education service providers, which must be legally regulated or approved. For example, ALIGN-Program is such an approved and funded measure.
„Maßnahmeträger“ = this is a company that has undergone certification as an organization and is allowed to carry out measures on behalf of the Agentur für Arbeit.
Job coaches = this is the position or job title of personnel who are assigned in job coaching measures. Job coaches are not required to hold a special degree, undergo specialized training, and are not certified. It’s thus only natural to expect great variation in the level of consulting quality.
#3 AVGS is a chance to obtain job coaching
The main task of the employment agencies‘ contact persons is to offer consulting services to job seekers.
The ultimate goal is for the jobseeker to return to work.
The road to a new job, however, may be hindered by a number of stumbling blocks.
The objective of the consultation is to find out which difficulties or stumbling blocks the client is specifically facing. Then, it is possible to find out what and who can help to overcome these difficulties.
For this purpose, the consultants at the employment agency have the option of commissioning an external training service provider to carry out an intensive coaching program, for example.
This is handled via AVGS.
#4 Is there a right or claim for an AVGS?
A voucher is among the consulting services offered by German employment policy. However, there is no right to receive a voucher for coaching.
It is called an „optional benefit“ or, in German, „Kann-Leistung“.
This means: The person in charge at the employment agency or the job center CAN issue you a voucher.
Namely, if she or he expects your chances of finding a new job to be significantly improved as a result.
Your individual situation is important on the one hand. And, on the other hand, you have to provide strong reasoning for investing in you.
🔑 GERMAN TERM
„Kann-Leistung“ = Optional benefit or discretionary benefit
A technical term from social security law. In social insurance, it refers to benefits that are granted at the discretion of the insurance provider in individual cases (discretionary benefits).
Important aspects if you want to request an AVGS
Who is eligible for an AVGS?
The AVGS is approved by the personal contact person. In the past, the following people have come to me for advice because they have received an AVGS for coaching:
International spouses, whose husband has found a job in Germany and are still new in Germany. (so-called trailing spouses).
- International professionals sent to Germany by their domestic employer who wish to stay in Germany after their contract has expired.
- International graduates from German universities haven’t found a position after their studies, despite their own efforts.
- Refugees, from any country, are permitted to live and work in Germany.
- Student dropouts seeking a new orientation (and having a residence permit separate from their studies).
- Husbands or wives searching for a new job after a period of maternity or family leave
- people who have lost their jobs and haven’t found a new one yet
What factual arguments exist in favor of issuing an AVGS voucher?
With the outsourcing of career coaching such as „ALIGN-Make your Career“ – Coaching & Guidance Program, an AVGS may support you in speeding up the time you would otherwise spend looking for a job.
Not only is this a huge relief for people trying to find a job, but it also reduces the amount of time they need to draw unemployment benefits.
Hence, that is a powerful argument in favor of career coaching and guidance into the job market.
Women who are looking for a job on their first attempt in Germany can use the AVGS to find a position that is suitable for their qualifications. This prevents their experience and education from being ignored by employers. With an adequate position usually come better career opportunities and a higher salary, so career coaching may significantly improve the individual situation, especially for women.
Very beneficial is the coaching for individuals requiring a new application strategy.
This can be because something fundamental has changed in private life or in the job.
For example, a relocation, higher demands at the workplace, following time off for health issues, or because their domestic circumstances have changed.
Why should international people be considered for AVGS?
For people from abroad and/or with a migration background, all the same, the arguments described above apply.
According to the situation, there are further arguments in favor of support by an AVGS career coaching like ALIGN.
Statistically speaking, foreign professionals and professionals with a migration background spend more time unemployed than German professionals and are more often employed below their qualifications.
Even though Germany has gained a lot in cosmopolitanism in recent years and is opening up to foreign qualified persons, we are not yet in the ideal world.
Furthermore, difficulties in language comprehension may lead to a less-than-favorable presentation of an applicant’s own professional qualifications and strengths.
When the German language and communication culture is not yet so familiar, international professionals may easily feel uncomfortable communicating with employers.
Here, coaching provides the space to reflect on the scope for suitable behavior on the part of an applicant. This makes it easier for a newcomer to Germany to stand up for their own legitimate interests with employers.
How to increase the chances of an AVGS voucher?
Tell your employment counselor specifically what you have already done to get a job. Include what difficulties you are currently facing.
Seek advice beforehand as to whether a particular measure is truly suitable for you.
Take along the flyer about the ALIGN-Coaching and Guidance Program to the consultation with your employment counselor. Describe how the program will help you and the goals you intend to achieve. Prepare well for the interview and your arguments.
Should you not yet feel confident in the German language, having a person you trust and who can speak German fluently could help you. Four ears simply hear more than two.
For myself, it is always much easier to inquire further and to ask for more detailed explanations when I feel really confident.
Of course, there are also English speakers among the employment agencies, but not everyone feels confident in the English language or can explain the sometimes complicated legal aspects so easily in English.
Download the ALIGN flyer and get free advice on how ALIGN can help you achieve your goals.
What is the best AVGS coaching agency for me?
A confusing high number of agencies, training providers, and consulting agencies exist.
It can sometimes be confusing from the outside to identify the differences between them.
You may be surprised, but another important thing to know is that the testing and certification of a training provider relate solely to the organization, but not to the staff.
For the profession of the job coach, there is no certification. Also, there’s no professional training, degree, or an agreed-on minimal standard definition that must be met.
This is why it helps you to look for these criteria when talking to prospective service providers:
- Which personnel will be used for you? What kind of education and practical experience does the staff have?
- Which groups of people does a coach work with most often?
- Are there any experiences with academics?
- How transparent is the service you get for your AVGS?
- Is the service geared to your challenges as an international person?
Online coaching vs. on-site meetings
Some educational institutions have facilities for coaching sessions in the same place where you live. Other providers, such as MyJobGermany, are mainly active nationwide and via online consulting.
Consider how important it is for you to meet your guide or consultant in person, e.g. in a seminar room.
For language courses, for example, online courses have proven to be very efficient and enjoyable for higher-qualified participants. Whereas, when you start learning a language, it’s more effective to meet on-site.
For online coaching, I like to compare it with this experience. Because for those professionals who are used to online working, it’s a great way to work.
In Online-Coaching, or at least at MyJobGermany, conversations will be recorded unless it’s not wanted by a client. Can be a great help in the follow-up of interviews in German language, if the own mastery of the language is not yet perfect.
Meeting in person in one place may be pleasant – but it can also be inconvenient and time-consuming.
Time and money are saved by eliminating the time spent on the bus to and from a seminar building for one session. With the time saved, you may study German, play sports, or look after your family or spend time with friends.
🦉 Wrap up
Job Coaching is a chance to obtain support in finding a new job in Germany. The AVGS may be issued by the local Agentur für Arbeit or Job Center. Especially for foreign and international professionals, it may speed up the time to align to the job market and find a position that is truly suitable.
The ALIGN-Program of MyJobGermany is funded via AVGS and supports for a duration of 2 months with 2-3 appointments per week, the development of a specific professional future plan is feasible.
In this way, a lasting and successful career in Germany is possible. Please contact me if you would like to know more about the actual implementation and how I can support you.