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School social work in vocational schools


The project

Usually, upon the completion of their general school education, students then either attend a vocational school or they take advantage of an apprenticeship programme in a company. Those incapable of directly benefiting from the two previously mentioned options, attain, in most cases, a supplemental qualification by successfully completing a so called vocational preparatory year (Berufsvorbereitungsjahr or simply BVJ) in a vocational school. BVJ students have attended either a special or a secondary school and have poor school certification upon completion or none at all. Deficits that many suffer from are inefficiency and learning disabilities and they lack the abilities and moreover the possibilities needed for the independent planning of the course of their lives.

The goal of the project was to motivate BVJ students to develop perspectives for their private and professional lives and to assist them in the realisation of these perspectives as well. Clearly expressed, that means that the BVJ student received assistance in the selection of a profession and in the search for apprenticeship and they received support in the preparation for such vocational training or occupation.

Responsible for the execution of this task were youth workers (social workers who work with youths) of the Kolping Training Centres in Schwäbisch Hall / Crailsheim who were deployed in both vocational schools of the Schwäbisch Hall / Crailsheim rural district. They cared for 680 students to whom they offered routine consultation. Within the framework of individual case assistance they worked together with the students in the development of plans for the students’ future, arranged contacts with information offices and with the authorities and gave support in the search for apprenticeship and with job applications as well. The parents of the BVJ students were involved as well.

An important prerequisite for successful school social work is the close and goal-oriented co-operative work with the respective teachers of the BVJ students and with all other involved positions in the instruction of these students. For that reason meetings of a regional working party were held twice each school year. Participants included the schools, the youth welfare department, the local employment agency and the school social workers as well. Together the group worked on finding ways of offering every student a perspective upon the students’ completion of the BVJ. This high goal stands under the motto “no certification without continuation”. The achieved placement quota was 80%. 167 students found a apprenticeship or a job, 381 started a further education or job preparation measure.


Project execution
Kolping Training Institution Wuerttemberg Registered Association, Stuttgart, Germany

Contact partner

Axel Schmidt, Head of Site Crailsheim

EU-Funding Programme

ESF Objective 3

Sum of Funding
107,281 €

Period of Funding
01.10.2004 - 30.09.2006

Financially supported by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Families, women and Senior Citizens of Baden-Württemberg with funds of the European Social Fund.

ESF Baden Württemberg EU