Whether that means that no courses are offered that do not comply with the rules, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment does not dare to claim. This is because not all investigations have yet been completed into the programs with which something seemed to be wrong.
200 educators surveyed
There are still about ten investigations, which could be completed at any time, according to a spokesperson. In total, more than 3500 training courses have been examined in recent months, from about 200 trainers. That investigation – carried out by the Assessment Chamber – was necessary because it turned out that programs did not comply with the rules for paying out the STAP budget.
For example, it turned out to be possible to use the money for a two-day ‘discovery of yourself’ in Amsterdam, Antwerp or Paris.
In response to this, the cabinet decided to tighten the rules. In order to carry out the investigations properly and at the same time to be able to adjust the rules, it was decided to close the counter – which runs through the UWV benefits agency – for two months. As of today it is open again.
The most important new rule is that a maximum of 300 people per year will receive a budget per course. In this way, the ministry hopes to prevent a provider from walking in by allowing many students to follow a course at the same time, which can be at the expense of education.
No more gifts and lectures
Another important tightening is that providers are no longer allowed to tempt people with a gift or sweet trip in exchange for following a course. If a provider does this, they will initially be asked to stop. If this does not happen, the program will be removed from the register from which programs can be selected.
From 1 May, the next application period, a trainer must provide insight into the teaching program in advance. This also means that a teacher is involved and that a test must be taken to check what people have learned. From that date, following a lecture is no longer sufficient to pass your education.
Beer, wine and whiskey tasting?
The rules have already been tightened up, when research by RTL Nieuws showed that courses were also offered that have little to do with improving someone’s position on the labor market. Those who want to learn how to taste beer or invest in cryptos must do so at their own expense, unless the crusus has a professional character. A dropshipping course is also not eligible for the STAP budget.
Nevertheless, the ministry cannot rule out the possibility that all courses that can be followed will always fully comply with the rules. After all, it is ‘a learning scheme’ that is ‘continuously evaluated and improved’.
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