IT failures means STAP budget application site will be offline this week
It will not be possible to apply for a STAP budget for at least this entire week, a spokesperson for the UWV said on Wednesday. The intention was to make it possible for all residents of the Netherlands to be able to apply for the 1,000 euro training budget on Tuesday, but this was canceled due to a major technical malfunction.
The web portal was extremely busy as people tried to access the site.
The UWV social benefits agency, which is responsible for the implementation, is still investigating what caused the malfunction and how it can be resolved. Once the error has been corrected, it will take a few days before preparations are finalized to reopen the portal, the UWV said.
As a result, the application process will not be available until early next week at the earliest.
The FNV labor union said that the situation was reminiscent of “turbulent ticket sales for popular concerts,” and that a principle of “first come, first served” applies. “This turns the ‘Lifelong Development’ scheme into a lottery.” The system needs to be “overhauled,” the union said.
Only programs recognized by the Ministry of Education or a relevant industry association should be included in the program, the FNV said. Multi-year financing must also become possible.
Anyone aged 18 and older can apply for the budget, provided that they do not receive a State pension. Training courses must also be registered in the STAP database.
Last year, the government saw signs that the scheme was being abused, at which point the system was reviewed. The Cabinet no longer wanted the budget to be used for pleasure trips and courses that do not match the needs of the labor market.
Reporting by ANP