The working group “Weinheim Initiative” is a nationwide association of cities and administrative districts looking for ways to help young people successfully make the transition from school to regular employment. To this end, it has set up local groups of responsibility. The working group “Weinheim Initiative” evolved from the group of persons who signed the Weinheim Declaration 2007, which was drawn up with the help of the Freudenberg Foundation as well as the Federal Ministry for Education and Science, municipalities, researchers, engaged individuals, foundations and associations.

What are the goals?

The objective of the “Weinheim Initiative” is to improve the sectoral and legal framework conditions prevalent in a town with respect to coordinating the transition from school to regular employment and to support the towns participating in the initiative in their efforts to develop further the method being applied locally.

What are the activities of the “Weinheim Initiative”?
The “Weinheim Initiative”

  • promotes critical but constructive discussions with experts in such fields as education, the labor market and youth-related political issues both on the municipal as well as state and federal levels, and it discusses such issues as the much-needed improvement in the quality of the vocational counseling offered by schools with representatives of the state government;
  • works with research institutes, foundations, welfare associations, trade unions and civil society to develop optimal concepts for the transition from school to regular employment in future and introduces these ideas to the discussions being carried on by experts;
  • offers further training seminars for municipal administration staff and civil society;
  • develops materials to ensure a successful transition from school to regular employment;
  • initiates an exchange of information between institutions implementing nationwide government and private programs such as, for example, “Lernen vor Ort”, “Übergänge mit System” or “Perspektive Berufsabschluss”;
  • plans and organizes an annual forum, where the positions, handouts and working results of the different groups are presented and discussed.

Who is financing the “Weinheim Initiative”?

Why is the Freudenberg Foundation supporting the “Weinheim Initiative”?

In 1998, the forum “Youth, Education, Employment”, which had been initiated by the Freudenberg Foundation, presented a memorandum with the title “How to Overcome the Vocational Training Crisis”. The memorandum stated: “The problems encountered by young people are the major problems of society. Young people must be given the opportunity to gain vocational training, and such opportunities must be provided in a developed society. The public responsibility for the next generation takes priority.” The 20th recommendation for action underscored the need for local education and vocational training policies. Experience has shown that municipal coordination and an active local association of responsibility can effectively help create locally based reliable education and vocational training perspectives for young people.


Seat of the working group:
Geschäftsstelle Arbeitsgemeinschaft Weinheimer Initiative
c/o Stadt Weinheim
Andreas Salewski
Amt für Bildung und Sport
Dürrestraße 2
D-69469 Weinheim
Phone 0049-(0)-6201-82267

Heiner Bernhard – Lord Mayor of Weinheim
Stefan Skora – Mayor of Hoyerswerda

Dr. Wilfried Kruse