The Centre for Vocational Education and Training has been helping people with disabilities to move into employment for over 30 years and has built up a wealth of experience in this area. The success of its work is demonstrated by the substantial integration into the primary labour market which has been achieved. "This is down to the strong network we have established and to the many trusting cooperation agreements entered into with companies," explained Hartmut Pletzer, Pedagogical Director at Lichtenau.
The plan now is for a new agreement concluded with three hotels operating under the Penta brand to begin a fresh chapter in this success story. "In launching this initiative, we are reacting to the present shortage of skilled workers in the hotel and restaurant sector," explained Dieter Christian Peuckert, a pastor who sits on the Lichtenau Board of Trustees. Christian Keßler, General Manager at Penta, added: "Our cooperation partners are pooling their expertise. We want to work together to offer young people occupational prospects and to significantly improve their opportunities for integration".
The LeQua association is in pursuit of the same goal. "Our aim is to assist people with restrictions in their everyday lives and support them in finding solutions to problems," said trustees Marleen Stockburger and Steven Renner. "This also includes providing social education support during training. The cooperation agreement offers a great vehicle to do this."
The Centre for Vocational Education and Training offers ideal conditions for the implementation of the cooperation project. Youths and young adults are able to attend either on a daily or residential basis and complete future-oriented vocational orientation and training courses in the fields of housekeeping, cooking, and general hotel and restaurant work.
The hotel chain plays its part by making internships available at its branches in Kassel, Wiesbaden, Braunschweig and Eisenach. It also provides specialist expertise to prepare young people for the world of work and offers a job to those who demonstrate aptitude. All stages of the process are robustly monitored by the cooperation partners.
The Centre for Vocational Education and Training and LeQua closely align their theoretical and practical support to Penta's stipulations. "There is virtually no better opportunity for young people to put themselves forward for future employment," continued Hartmut Pletzer. "This is a particularly effective route for those with learning difficulties or with physical or mental disabilities."