WERKstattSCHULE e.V. pursues goals of practice-oriented, cultural education, international youth work, youth care and youth welfare. We help young people who are on the threshold of their professional life with:

  • Practice-oriented education projects
  • Cultural and intercultural education
  • The promotion of social engagement
  • The provision of professional skills, e.g. basic manual skills, social skills
  • The provision of vocational qualifications, e.g. By obtaining a degree, by helping to them to achieve vocational qualification through support courses or by providing assistance in search for a job or a training

DIE WERKSTATT e.V. – now WERKstattSCHULE e.V. has launched several successful projects since 1989 – partly together with other institutions – local, national and international. At WERKstattSCHULE e.V we work according to the following principle:

“Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Let me do it and I understand “

All our projects – no matter if the participants are pupils, students, NEETs or refugees – are within the framework of practical learning.

What is the profile of NEETs in Heidelberg?

The NEETs in our area mostly have multiple social & economic problems. Most of them have no or very low education degrees, no educational or vocational qualification, they are  no longer achieved by social benefits, discontinuation of measures or training, open/hidden unemployment, precarious family backgrounds, addictions, health/mental restrictions, criminal charges, migration.

Missing professional perspective, low training maturity, low self-efficacy, low social mobility, psychological problems, drug abuse issues and legal problems (lawsuits, debts, etc.).

They are usually between 16-26 years old and not in education, employment or training.

Who is working with NEETs at WSS?

We have several employees to work with NEETs in WSS. Some work with them on a everyday basis, others only work with them in specific projects. The program for our NEETs is called “LÄUFT?!” and two team members take care for this part.

All our youth workers are professionals with multiple qualifications. By training they are education researchers, occupational educators, special pedagogues, qualified social education workers and intercultural trainers. All team members have a broad pedagogical practice experience and are proven experts in their professional disciplines.

They work as educators for different types of schools and educational providers. They have a long experience particularly in working with young people with deprived backgrounds and with disabled people. Furthermore they act as individual instructional coaches for deprived young people during the transition phase from school to professional life and work to support and promote the social and professional integration of German and foreign young people.

How do we involve NEETs in our projects?

We try to involve them in different ways:

  • Support the other projects by preparing material, taking care of the workshop, taking care of the tools, etc.
  • Construction projects in landscaping and/or wood construction around the WSS to improve the infrastructure
  • Own little projects in the workshop; they can come up with their own ideas
  • Taking part in mobility projects (such as “Hands on talent” with Asociación Mundus)
  • Looking for training possibilities for them and
  • Help for preparing a school graduation (external, non-formal preparation)
  • Providing Vocational Training

Which mobility projects do we offer for NEETs? 

For many years now WERKstattSCHULE e.V. has been running intercultural projects abroad – mostly international work camps for youngsters from different types of school as well as for young unemployed, disadvantaged people. During the past 20 years more than 30 transnational construction site and cultural projects with youngsters have been realised in different European countries.

WERKstatSCHULE is also working in the field of European volunteering.

Some examples:

  • IDA : 2009 – 2012 more than 200 young unemployed people ( different target groups) participated in this intercultural training German-Turkish programme
  • FAIROPA I + II German-Turkish-Italian youth exchange (2014-2015) about professional orientation and intercultural learning
  • Young hope – German-Polish-Turkish cultural youth camp about European diversity
  • Handcraft – German –Turkish youth exchange
  • Hands on talents – German –Spanish youth work camp, professional orientation and intercultural learning

How do we prepare NEETs before mobility projects? 


  • By our daily work, which will help them build self-confidence, structure their life, achieve little goals step-by-step
  • Teambuilding workshops and  intercultural training (low level), basic language skills, are some of the preparing elements we use

Which are the difficulties while working with NEETs?


An individual personal working relation based on confidence, voluntary commitment and self -responsibility is hard to realize every day and from the beginning. NEETS define their own goals step by step and they also define the way they are working in the projects. So at the beginning we face irregular attendance and small progresses in working motivation.  They often have “bigger” problems (financially, lawsuits) which distract them from the project. So the most difficult at the beginning is to find out the way of resolving the problems step by step and to strength them to be actors and not victims of the situation. If this is clear and the step overcome, than it works.