UWV spent millions of dollars from the STAP budget on phantom students. BNR reported on friday. According to their report, the benefit agency has yet to recover €2.6 million from these students.
The STAP budget is a €1,000 allowance aimed at increasing people’s chances in the labor market through retraining and additional training. Anyone over the age of 18 who does not receive a national pension can apply.
The government will launch the scheme in March 2022 and it has proved to be very well received. This year, a total of €170 million will be provided to about 200,000 people. I have applied 5 times. The second time this year started on May 1st.
This generous allowance was widely criticized, and it soon became apparent that some people were abusing it. The funds were intended to improve the status of recipients in the labor market, but people applied for subsidies for courses unrelated to their jobs (beer tasting, horse coaching, Reiki massage, etc.). . The survey also found that course providers have increased course fees to collect more STAP money.
It has now been revealed that UWV paid €2.6 million to course participants who did not or barely attended the course. To complete the course, the student must obtain a certificate or attend at least 80% of the sessions. Otherwise, you will have to refund the EUR 1,000 yourself.
Course providers must notify UWV if a participant has not completed the training. However, UWV has not to date sought any reimbursement from these individuals.
UWV said it has been “generous” in not burdening STAP students with debt. They also justified this by stating that the system was new and many course participants may not have been fully aware of the conditions. UWV also said some STAP recipients may not have been able to fully participate in the course due to personal circumstances.
According to the welfare agency, 94% of all subsidized courses were successfully completed. However, the BNR has questioned these figures as they rely heavily on course providers’ self-reported data. BNR cited examples of students receiving diplomas even before they had completed the course.
MP Bert van Kent of the SP said he plans to raise questions in the lower house of the Dutch parliament, Tweed Kammel, on the issue, and the report found the STAP budget to be a “huge waste of money”. never existed before. He called on Social and Employment Minister Karien van Genyip to clarify the situation and suggest possible solutions.
In the spring national budget update, the government announced: Reduced STAP budget. The next subsidy, which starts on July 3, will only make available €20 million instead of the originally planned €34 million. In 2024, this scheme will no longer be available.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/06/16/uwv-paid-millions-stap-budget-phantom-students UWV paid phantom students millions of STAP budgets