In Germany, many young people in vocational training feel unfit and tend to interrupt their career often in the first year. At the end of 2008, the Senior Expert Service (SES) – one of Germany’s largest volunteer organisations for technical executives in retirement and a member of CESES launched an initiative called VerA (Verhinderung von Ausbildungsabbruechen) to prevent failure in vocational training. VerA is available to all those who meet difficulties during their vocational training and are tempted to give up. SES offers these young people the support of professional and experienced Senior Experts who give them guidance as mentors. SES mentors are volunteers who understand the difficulties of young people and give personalised help: answer technical questions, provide exercises for professional practice, prepare them for hardship they may encounter during the exams, help develop social skills and learning motivation and foster the trusting relationship between trainees and instructors. SES receives requests from several sources – from trainees or their parents, from consultants at the chambers of commerce, from training companies and vocational schools. The VerA initiative has met with an enthusiastic response from Senior Experts. Thanks to them, young people are being prepared specifically for the task, receive and transfer important specialties and expertise in industry, trade and many technical, mercantile and social professions. VerA mentoring is free of charge for the trainees and the training companies and schools, lasts in principle twelve months, but can be extended until the vocational training is completed, and is offered throughout Germany. This initiative is supported by the Chambers of Skilled Trades and Crafts and the Chambers of Industry and Commerce, and the financial support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Level of Education: Initial vocational education and training
Lead Organisation: Senior Expert Service (SES)