EU opens inquiry into 7 mln eur state aid for training scheme at DHL site

The European Commission said it has opened a formal investigation into 7 mln eur of state aid which Germany intends to allocate to a training project at a new DHL site in Leipzig-Halle, Germany.

DHL’s training project would derive around 60 pct of the costs from state aid.

The commission, however, said it doubts that the aid is compatible with EC Treaty rules, as much of the training seems to be required by law or be otherwise necessary to operate in the new location. It said DHL would have to provide the training to its employees even without the aid as the company must employ new workers in order to start operating.

Competition commissioner Neelie Kroes added: ‘I am always happy to approve training aid which has positive external effects for the society as a whole. However, in this case, I have concerns that DHL would have carried out this training project in any event, and therefore does not need the aid.’

DHL is a worldwide service provider in the parcel delivery and airfreight sector, wholly owned by Deutsche Post AG.

Following its move to Leipzig-Halle, DHL is currently building a new delivery and airfreight centre which is expected to become operational by the end of Oct 2007. DHL plans to employ around 1,500 people and to provide training to 480 employees.

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