Discover your talent - the vocational orientation programme of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Every year, around 60,000 young people leave school without any qualifications. There is a further and growing number of young people who are not considered to be in possession of the necessary apprenticeship entry maturity and who are unable to access the labour market.

In addition to this, training drop-outs are relatively prevalent whereas many companies in East Germany in particular are no longer able to fill their training places. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is seeking to put an end to this trend and to support young people in the transition from school to work via its programme "Supporting vocational orientation in inter-company vocational training centres and comparable VET centres".

This vocational orientation programme was launched in 2008 and succeeded in achieving a high degree of acceptance from both young people and training staff whilst still in its pilot phase. Evidence of the success of the programme was provided both in the form of high numbers of participants (more than 100,000 recorded at the given time and almost 170,000 approved) as well as via the results of the internal and external evaluation of the programme. This enabled the pilot project, which was due to run until 31 December 2010, to be ended early and the support programme to be instigated on a permanent basis.

New aspects of the programme are the analysis of potential as a component of the support provided and the fact that the vocational orientation programme is integrated into the BMBF "Educational Chains" initiative. Additionally to the analysis of potential and vocational orientation, this initiative includes the deployment of "career entry support workers" from the penultimate year of general schooling for pupils with special educational needs.

Source: Newsletter article of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), revised by iMOVE, April 2011