World N24 on inclusion - disabled people find hardly any training places - article by Thomas Vitzthum

Inclusion is regarded as a schulthema. But handicapped people should become more visible everywhere - even in the working world. However, according to a study, only the few of the start into the professional life succeed.

Actually it is grotesque. For years, the inclusion has been discussed, written, politicized. As early as 2009, Germany committed itself to the United Nations not only to integrate disabled people in all areas, but also to integrate them properly. Nevertheless: to date, inclusion is only discussed in the context of day-care centers and schools.

Recently, the topic was put into a popular talkshow, when it was about whether a child with Downsyndrom should go to the Gymnasium. At all, inclusion is not addressed in the professional sector. This would only be consistent. Somewhere the inclusion pupils have to go. At the moment, they often end up in unemployment.

So far there have not even been valid data on the situation and the number of disabled people in working life. A representative company study of the Bertelsmann Foundation, which is exclusive to the "world", changes this. At first sight, the findings are not encouraging: of the approximately 50,000 school leavers with special educational needs, only around 3500 find a training place in one company. In the past five years, only one out of every four companies that are allowed to train have experience with disabled young people.

"The professional world must face challenges"

"When we talk about the inclusion, it is no longer enough to just talk about the schools. The UN Convention is not limited to education. At some point, more and more inclusive graduates will be there, which then need connecting possibilities, "said Federal Minister of Education Johanna Wanka (CDU) of the" world ". "We have to make sure that our professional world is more focused on the challenges of inclusion."

After all, half of the companies have had positive experiences with the young people (47.1 percent). Only one tenth company (8.5 per cent) has a bad record. Among those who have embarked on this, most (34.4 per cent) praise the higher motivation of this group compared to other trainees. Their loyalty as well as their claim to be accepted for disability are valued.

Looking at these judgments, it is unclear why so few companies train people with disabilities. Most touching plays an important role. In addition, there are typical German regulations and habits.


No compulsory education for disabled people

For companies with more than 20 employees, there is the obligation to fill five per cent of their workforce with severely handicapped persons, but this does not apply to trainees. If an entrepreneur nevertheless creates a severely handicapped person, he or she is counted twice. Sounds complicated. But it is quite simple: with a workforce of 40 people, two disabled people would have to be employed. If a handicapped apprentice were hired, the quota would also be met, for the double credit.

A sanction, that is, a penalty for the one who trains no one, does not exist. Those who do not respect the severely handicapped rate, however, pay. However, if one places the focus on the severely handicapped, one draws the circle of candidates much too closely. For those who are supposed to be trained in regular schools, instead of in schools, often have only minor handicaps.

It is not about the severely handicapped, who go into the classical workshops. That is why they are still needed, says Minister Wanka: "It is important to me that the possibility of sheltered workshops is preserved." Of the 50,000 graduates with disabilities annually, they take around 11,000. But what happens to the rest? Too many are ending up in preparatory measures, which often remain dead-ends for them.


Training system is too inflexible

According to the study, a lot would have been gained if more sponsors made a Hauptschulabschluss. "Companies do not perceive much of what is nowadays regarded as disability in schools. The grant may make it difficult for them to gain access to the profession. The companies usually give the main school leavers the clear advantage ", says the board of the Bertelsmann Foundation Jörg Dräger.

The German certificate-thinking becomes a disaster for those affected. A Hauptschulabschluss is simply worth more. At most of the funding schools, however, the young people can not take a secondary school leaving certificate. That is why Dräger insists: "Where we still have support schools, they should make full use of the potential of their students and, if possible, lead to a Hauptschulabschluss".

Finally, many fail in the education system. The three-year dual training course with a large final examination is too high a hurdle for many disabled people. "The rigid training system does not prevent those affected. Therefore, we need the opportunity to interrupt the training also for some time and a longer training period. There must also be an incentive for a trial, "says Dräger.


Chambers and trade unions

Two-thirds of companies support a more flexible system. On the other hand, however, are chambers and trade unions. The former would like to keep control of the training contents by means of a final examination, the latter fear a weakening of tariffs.

State aid could still provide incentives. But again there are problems. Most companies do not know what support they can make in the training of young people with disabilities. The information deficit is great. 81.7 percent wonder where they can apply for. 70 percent of companies complain about the bureaucracy. Findings such as these show once again impressively how little the topic of inclusion has so far been in vocational training. And why this should not change so quickly.


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Inclusion means:


Equal rights for people with and without disabilities.