The project started out in spring 2017 as a joint idea of the ZAV (Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung) in Bonn – which is part of the German Federal Employment Agency and acts as the EURES National Coordination Office – and a job centre in the district of Celle, Lower Saxony.
In Celle, those who are unemployed, particularly young people who have not completed any formal education, may experience difficulty finding employment opportunities during winter.
In collaboration with the job centre, the ZAV Bonn therefore decided to create a transnational training programme for long-term unemployed jobseekers with little or no formal education.
‘Plenty of opportunities’ for jobseekers
The ZAV Bonn cooperated with the EURES office in Salzburg, Austria, where the region’s tourism industry needs seasonal workers for its many hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes.
‘The Salzburg State region was specifically chosen by our colleague Gerhard Bogensperger from EURES Austria, as this area offers plenty of opportunities for jobseekers in the winter season,’ explains EURES Adviser Matthias Rauhut from the ZAV Bonn.
Potential candidates were pre-selected from the job centre’s database and invited to an interview and selection process led by EURES Germany and Austria in autumn 2017. Following successful interviews, 12 participants, each with no previous gastronomic or hospitality experience, were taught practical skills by training organisation Konfides during a short preparation period. They were also given general advice about living and working in Austria.
‘The best decision of my life’
The participants moved to Salzburg State to begin three-month placements as paid, full-time trainees in the hotel and tourism industry in December 2017. Travel costs were covered by the job centre and the participants received free accommodation and meals from their employers.
The trainees were each given a tablet computer to help them contact the job centre and EURES Staff in Bonn and Salzburg whenever they needed support. This also allowed them to exchange experiences with other members of the group and build up a local support network.
The scheme proved successful, as both employees and employers provided positive feedback on their experiences. Matthias says five participants even stated that taking part was the best decision of their lives.
‘With a successful career entry into the hotel catering industry, the chances have increased hugely for the candidates to find follow-up employment or apprenticeship training either in Austria or in the Celle region,’ says Matthias.
Indeed, of the nine participants who completed their placements in March 2018:
- four already have offers, or plan, to begin vocational training in Germany;
- three have received offers to train as apprentices in Austria;
- one is in employment in Germany; and
- one is set for a career in luxury international hospitality after joining the training programme of the prestigious International Butler Academy in the Netherlands.
Most importantly, the participants were finally able to find work and start their careers, and all this would not have been possible without the cross-border coordination between EURES in Germany and Austria and the job centre in Celle.
The successful initiative has been repeated this year and extended to include the job centres in Hameln and Eutin. A new cohort of 15 trainees began placements in Salzburg State in December 2018 and there are plans to extend the project further in the coming years.
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- Publication date
- 28 February 2019
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
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