Burkhard Schäfer makes disadvantaged people in his training center in Berlin-Wedding Boy People fit for the job market and for life. At the start of a current charitySALE he explains in an interview what is important when dealing with young people and what Company could improve on vocational training.

Among other things, Burkhard Schäfer was a social worker, HR manager of a foundation that maintains workshops in prisons, assessor at the labor court and worked for the Berlin Senate administration before he took over the management of the SOS vocational training center in Berlin-Wedding. Schäfer first completed his secondary school leaving certificate at a local school and trained as a toolmaker. The Combination from Vocational Training and middle school enabled him to do a technical diploma at a technical college. He first studied social pedagogy at a university of applied sciences, and later educational science.

Mr. Schäfer, how many young people do you look after in your institution?

A total of 250 young people, 160 of whom are trainees in 10 professions in the service and trades and 90 in pre-employment Orientation yet to find out which one Job suits you. Add 100 Motherswho are preparing to return to work.

Many companies complain today that they do not find suitable trainees. What do you think?

Businesses need more attention to that needs of young people. So far, they have primarily demanded that the young people follow them and come to their training practically ready. Instead, you should pick up the young people as a personality where they are. But of course they do too Regulate convey.

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Do employers have too high demands?

The ideals that a company would like to convey to the outside world must also set an example. However, the young people are very critical and notice very precisely when the requirements and the reality do not go together. It says so beautifully: "How it echoes into the forest ..." - that also applies here.

Please give a concrete example: where could employers focus more on the needs of young people? And what do they get from it?

For example young mothers. Often a KO criterion for employers. Companies should particularly promote those because they are extremely good to organize can and are usually quicker and more diligent. So ideal workers. To do this, companies would have to be more flexible with their working hours. Or people with disabilities: We had a cook trainee here with hearing difficulties, for example – but he did his job perfectly.

What do you do differently than companies on the first labor market?

Exactly that: We respond to people and ask them what they want. Then we draw up a support plan and a target agreement. In addition to the masters, there are also teachers and social pedagogues available - quite an effort. Of course there are also rules: Anyone who steals or deals in drugs is thrown out. I do that for the young people right at the beginning clear.

What kind of people are coming to them?

Young people with so-called special needs who are sent here by the job centers, the youth welfare office or the employment agencies because they cannot be supported anywhere else. Above all, however, the young people must also Lust have to get an education.

They spoke of great effort: Is it worth it?

Naturally. The young people notice that we take care of them. And not only that: Those who do an apprenticeship in the service of our training restaurant “Rossi”, for example, get a positive one straight away Feedback in customer contact. Even guests from McKinsey or the police come there. That strengthens that self-confidence! And that is what is important: personality development!

What is the success rate?

65% of our young people graduate from the IHK or Handwerkskammer.

And how many will find a job afterwards?

We don't have exact numbers because afterwards we only have a third of the young people Contact have. But anyone who has learned a trade will always find a job somewhere because they Discipline upset and realized that through Performance can achieve something. Like one of our apprentice painters and varnishers, for example, who now works as a musician. Because the people here don't primarily learn for the job market, but for life.

What are you doing to get the young people into the first job market?

For example, we cooperate with various cooperation partners, which enable our apprenticeship internships - in some cases also abroad. Sometimes trainees are also taken over.

Speaking of cooperation partners: How do you finance yourself?

Our training center has 70 employees and costs 5 million euros a year. We get three million from the employment agencies, youth services and job centers. Two million I must reinhohlen by donations and what we ourselves with the restaurant or handicraft achievements.

Do you do publicity or advertising?

Unfortunately, we don't have the means for this, but our cooperation partners keep providing us with targeted media campaigns awareness . For example, the Marriott hotel group, which launched the “You Eat, We Give” charity campaign in more than 280 European hotels in February: Anyone who dines here supports the promotion of disadvantaged young people with one euro per cover. Different projects are sponsored by Marriott depending on the country, but the entire proceeds from Germany benefit us.

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