School-Enterprise-Cooperation Projects and Why Companies Get Involved

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Magdalena POLLOCZEK, University Paderborn, Germany
In Germany, low-achieving youth graduating from the secondary school type Hauptschule are most at risk of not having immediate prospects to enter vocational education compared to their age peers in other school types. Unable to find an apprenticeship position with an enterprise, they are placed into the so called transitional system, which keeps them in an uncertain waiting position and exposes them to stigmatization. The threat of social exclusion is especially high for those Hauptschul-pupils who drop out of school without any certificate. The school-enterprise-cooperation project Praxisklasse has been launched as a preventive mechanism to support these disadvantaged pupils with regard to their individual needs. Local enterprises as the project’s key stakeholder form a strong network together with youth welfare organizations and the respective school.

My contribution presents results of evaluating the Praxisklassen-project and investigates the companies’ motives why they are engaged. The conducted semi-structured interviews with recruiters as the in-house responsible for the cooperation project indicate that companies show a high level of motivation to partake because they expect to generate major future benefits for themselves: Resources spent on recruitment campaigns can be reduced, and the prolonged internships allow them to screen the student more extensively for their own purposes. On the other hand, the results confirm the high relevance of school-arranged and supervised internships shortly before graduation and highlight new chances for lower-qualified youth. They profit by compensating missing formal qualifications with positive personal traits or practical competences and gain easy access to apprenticeship positions. The study gives evidence that these kind of accompanied programs result in a win-win-situation for all involved parties and need to be further supported by the government.