Jugend am Werk ("Youth at Work") was founded in 1945, immediately after the Second World War, at a time when educational and employment structures had largely collapsed. Today, "Jugend am Werk" is a registered non-profit organization that runs two subsidiaries: the "Jugend am Werk Berufsausbildung für Jugendliche GmbH" and the "Jugend am Werk Begleitung von Menschen mit Behinderung GmbH". The overall objective of JaW and its subsidiaries is to ensure that disadvantaged individuals can lead independent, fulfilling lives without dependence on others.
Vocational training and qualification of young people
Today, the "Jugend am Werk Berufsausbildung für Jugendliche GmbH" trains about 1.400 young men and women per year who have been unable to find an apprenticeship on the open job market and offers a wide range of courses for vocational training and qualifications:
- Young people can complete their entire apprenticeship at vocational training centres and attend vocational schools. They are also given support in their efforts to get an apprenticeship at a company.
- The “Extended Vocational Training” scheme offers disadvantaged young people additional support for their vocational training by extending the time needed for apprentice training by a maximum of two years, or young people can acquire a partial qualification. During the Extended Vocational Training so called “Vocational Training Assistants” accompany young people.
- For adults who have not completed any vocational training, there are modular training programmes, intensive specialist training and the opportunity to prepare for the final apprenticeship exam.
- The Training Association (Ausbildungsverbund) enables apprentices in companies to complete part of their training at the vocational training centres of Jugend am Werk. Companies can also book certain training modules or company seminars for apprentices and employees.
Services for persons with disabilities
The "Jugend am Werk Begleitung von Menschen mit Behinderung GmbH" provides persons with intellectual or multiple disabilities with personal support that is necessary to enable them to live as independent as possible:
- About 1.700 women and men with disabilities work at 23 “day structures”. Qualification offers confer professional skills and people can familiarize themselves with the labour market by means of hourly or daily employment for a defined period of time. Work orders are accepted in working groups, such as industrial production, craft or creative design. Furthermore, there are service areas such as courier services, cleaning or catering. Switching between different qualifications or moving directly into professional integration projects is supported if requested. People with disabilities and higher care needs have access to intensive care that is specially tailored to personal development and care. The aim is to provide comprehensive support for each and every person to give them the greatest possible degree of self-determination and independence.
- Our range of offers in the area of supported employment includes giving advice on matters such as career orientation and searching for apprenticeships or jobs to accompanying persons with disabilities or mental health issues directly to the place of work. These are the objectives of the following projects, each with different focal areas: STAR Production School, Jobwärts specialised integration service, Jump project, Inclusive Editor’s Training, Work assistance and Job Coaching. Vocational Training Assistants provide support and accompany young people during their extended vocational training.
- People with disabilities have a right to live independently and individually in their own four walls. Our housing models keep these people to live their daily lives as independently as possible. In the case of accompanied living, people with disabilities live in their own flat. The exact extent of support provided by carers is agreed on an individual basis. In community living arrangements, between eight and twelve residents that require more intensive care live together in a generously sized flat. They can furnish their own room as they like. In residential houses, people with disabilities live in their own rooms in residential groups. Daily life resembles that of community living, but the residents are relieved of the need to do housework.
In the children and youth community living services for 32 persons, trained social workers are available around the clock and are responsible for all areas of life of the children and youths. They provide day-to-day support as well as ensuring academic and professional development. A key aspect here is arranging leisure activities together and going on regular trips out. Contact with parents and relatives is encouraged and supported to facilitate a potential return to the family
What are our major concerns?
- Ensure productive work and employment of young people and people with intellectual disability in regard to the UN-Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
- High level qualification and vocational training for young people
- Meaningful activities for persons with intellectual disabilities that cannot be integrated on the open job market
- Strengthening self-empowerment of persons with disabilities
- Appropriate services for older persons with disabilities and those with greater care requirement
- Adequate housing depending on individual needs