The number of good (and sometimes even best) practices makes it difficult to make a selection, so ACW agreed upon to choose:
- an example from transfer from school to employment,
- an example of best practice documentation for employers.
a) Best practice 1: “Malerwerkstatt” at the Erlichschule in Speyer
The first example is successfully operated since 2009 by Kultur und Arbeit e.V. / Association Culture & Work: The special school »Schule im Erlich«, located in Speyer, Rhineland-Palatinate, provides a specialized service to youngsters between the ages of 14 – 17. At their »Malerwerkstatt – Artists’ Workshop« the students, under the supervision of their teachers and trained artists, are taught general vocational skills and introduced to the painter and varnisher profession. The aim is to offer disadvantaged youngsters practical support in acquiring job qualifications as craftsmen which will be helpful to them in finding a job.
At the »Malerwerkstatt« they are taught how to handle materials and artistic composition as well as values such as working patiently towards a target. They also learn about conscientiousness and perseverance. This is not always easy, as this group of pupils often find it difficult to work continuously over longer periods of time in fixed and predetermined structures.
Since 2011, four more special schools have set up their own workshops: The Schubert-Schule in Neustadt, the Schloss-Schule in Ludwigshafen, the Wonnegauschule in Osthofen and the Siedlungsrealschule in Speyer. The main reason for setting up the workshops was that, given the current situation on the job market, graduates of special schools find it difficult to find places to do apprenticeships unless they have acquired qualifications at the school. That is why the workshops are organized within the framework of a detailed vocational training program. Every year, around 70% of the workshop youngsters get an internship or apprenticeship and are continuously accompanied by the workshop leaders.
Pupils doing an internship or apprenticeship also receive support on how to manage any conflicts they may be confronted with at the companies where they are training. They are also shown how to prepare for exams and do the homework they receive from their vocational schools. In addition they are trained in how to overcome difficult situations encountered during their training or daily lives.
- to safeguard that pupils do not drop out of their vocational schools or give up their apprenticeships before completing them.
- to offer the youngsters practical help in coping with the challenges of life and so find their place in society.
b) Best practice 2: documentation of examples for employers
The Federal Ministry for Work and Social Issues offers a homepage dedicated to persons with disabilities, their families and relatives, administration and enterprises: www.einfach-teilhaben.de . Included are information like flyers with general information and good practices which show very clearly the processes of getting support for employment. The examples are broadly differentiated and allow disabled and disadvantaged persons as well as employers an overview of opportunities for inclusion.