STAP budget applications possible again from today
Netherlands residents can apply for the STAP budget again from today. The application website will open at 10:00 a.m., the benefits agency UWV said.
The STAP budget is an allowance of 1,000 euros intended to help people increase their chances in the labor market through retraining or additional training. Anyone aged 18 or older can apply, provided they’re not receiving a State pension. “As a worker or job seeker, you can apply for the STAP budget once a year via this UWV website,” the Dutch government explained. “An application period starts every 2 months.” If the money allocated for a period runs out, then those who missed out have to wait until the next round.
The allowance has existed for a year. The government postponed opening January's round of applications to the end of February to give them more time to build safeguards after signals of abuses. Training providers and educators now have stricter requirements to meet. Providers are not allowed to admit more than 300 participants per course per year, and trainers can be punished if they try to lure students with trips or gifts as sweeteners.
The website to apply for the budget was supposed to open back up on February 28, but the online web portal was not accessible due to technical errors and because too many people tried to log in simultaneously. According to the UWV, about 300,000 people tried to queue up an hour before the web portal opened. That, combined with a technical update, led to a malfunction.