Assisted vocational training

In the 1980s, when the program ‘Support of Disadvantaged Young People’ in vocational education and training (Programm zur Benachteiligtenförderung) was implemented, the focus was on the support of the target group. In preparation for vocational training, special guidance and support measures were designed, their German language skills were systematically improved and they obtained socio-educational support. Back then, the lack of in-company vocational training positions led to the offer of financed external vocational training which is nowadays known as ‘Berufsausbildung in außerbetrieblichen Einrichtungen (BaE)’. The vocational training contract is concluded between the young person and the institute. Trainees obtain special support and education. Besides, a social worker is responsible for them in case of personal problems. A training supervisor is teaching professional skills during training workshops. However, the real practical experience is obtained in in-firm training periods where the trainees get in touch with the daily work in a company. The aim is the transition to full in-firm training which unfortunately does not succeed in many cases.

These days, the objective is that companies accept the main responsibility for vocational training again. Therefore, support of a vocational training institute is offered. This institute is providing its services to both: the young people/trainees and the potential training organisations. In the first stage, the employment agency / the job center assigns the young person to the training institute, such as BWK. The training institutes identifies their skills and educational requirements as well as personal problems and difficulties that potentially cause a dropout. The young people obtain an application training where on the one hand the relevant documents are developed and optimized and on the other hand individual strategies regarding training position acquisition are taught. Furthermore, educational deficits are eliminated and realistic vocational training opportunities are identified and presented.

At the same time, potential training companies are acquired. They receive advice, mentoring and information regarding specific target groups as well as assistance in the selection of potential candidates and can find a suitable trainee in periods of practical trainings.

After the training contract between the young person and the training organization has been signed, a training coach is available during the whole vocational training. This coach is meant to help the trainees when they face difficulties in school by offering support and remedial and can be contacted to advise when personal problems or difficulties during the vocational training occur. Besides, the coach advises the training company in case of conflicts with the trainees, pointing out financing opportunities, if the training is at risk to fail.