Good Practice: Special Support in a Mainstream Environment

Special Support in a Mainstream Environment: Verzahnte Ausbildung mit Betrieben

Organisation   Josefs Gesellschaft gGmbh 
Country Germany
Short description The programme provides young people with disabilities the adequate support through services while simultaneously enabling them to do their vocational training as close to the mainstreamed environment as possible. 

It all starts with a complete assessment of the clients need and also of his resources. From there we try to find the optimal place for him to do his vocational training. During this phase we provide every service needed in order for him or her to successfully complete his training. As early as possible we provide services to ensure a seamless integration in the labour market preferably the business where the vocational training took place.
Target group The targeted clients include anyone who can do a vocational training and needs special support in order to successfully complete it.
Underlying theories

The underlying idea is that while many young people with a disability need a certain kind of support, they do not necessarily need a special environment. For example, with the right kind of support they can evolve and do their vocational training in a “normal” or mainstream environment.

Family members
Family members get involved during the assessment, it should be determined whether the family is a resource or more of a barrier. After that, the activities very much depend on the individual situation and vary from “none at all” up to “very often and very intense”. 

Community partners
Trying to get local enterprise into the programme is a very important part. The participants have to be convinced that they are “doing the right thing” and have to be willing to endure some bumps along the road. There are financial rewards for participating businesses but without the necessary conviction, the programme is doomed to fail.
Direct impact  

The Outcome Measures are various
- the drop-out rate during vocational training
- the number of young people that get a job
- how long they keep the job

Conclusions and results

Two of the main challenges that arise are the compatibility of the participants’ individual barriers in comparison to the needs of the specific job and the huge workload it places on the staff. Especially the first one can be a daunting task and it can be very hard to find the right fit between the young adult and the enterprise he can do the vocational training in.

One of the main opportunities is that the young people complete their training in a realistic environment and not in a special one. This means that there are very few transitional problems when it comes to working in their first job later.
In conclusion, everyone has the right to work, no matter his barriers and disabilities. In addition, everybody has the right to work as closely to the mainstream-environment as possible.  
and Milestones
The programme officially started in Germany in 2009. The JG-Group was part of the initiative from the beginning. There has been a steady positive development with a growing number of participants in the programme each year.
Contact/More information Rene Ehlen :