Erasmus+ V.IN.E - on the tracks of inclusive vocational education in Berlin

V.IN.E at the House of Representatives in Berlin (Bild vergrößern)
Bild zur Meldung: V.IN.E at the House of Representatives in Berlin

Erasmus+ V.IN.E - a German-Turkish Partnership


From September 27-29, 2023 we accompanied a delegation from Turkey, 16 representatives of the municipal district administrations from Sisli/Istanbul and Tepebasi/ Eskisehir. Within the framework of our Erasmus+ project V.IN.E (Vocational Inclusive Education) we prepared a three-day study trip. The project V.IN.E has started in March this year with a kick-off in Istanbul. Now, over 20 months, we are exchanging ideas and best practices about success factors of inclusive vocational education on the municipal level in both countries. On September 26 and 27, the delegations from Sisli/Instanbul and Tepebasi/Eskisehir arrived in Berlin, led by the both district mayors Keskin and Atac.


Visit to the Berlin House of Representatives

On September 27, we jointly followed the invitation of the Vice-President of the Berlin House of Representatives (AHB), Dennis Buchner. In one of the rooms of the AHB, Stefanie Loos, a member of the State Disability Advisory Council, introduced us to the structures of disability policies in Berlin. She showed the instruments of the anti-discrimination law of the state of Berlin, the effect of the state disability advisory board and the role of the disability commissioners. Stefan Schenck acknowledged the achievement of the Berlin Disability Parliament, which was founded in 2020 thanks to civil society. In December 2023  the Disability Parliament will hold in the plenary hall of the House of Representatives for the 3rd time. 


August-Sander-School and the Chamber of Crafts in Berlin

On September 28th we visited the August-Sander-School. It is a vocational school with a special educational task. The principal Baldeweg introduced us to the inclusion concept. In addition to team teaching, it provides multidisciplinary teams and individual support for vulnerable young people.

The students of the August-Sander-Schule have different recognized needs, or they fall out of the regular school system in the transition from school to work for other reasons. It is important to show them a perspective and to teach them basic skills for a successful vocational connection. In a tour led by students, we were able to see the metalworking, house keeping and social economy departments. Afterwards, Susanne Marx-Mücke from the Senate Department for Education introduced us to the structures of the state of Berlin in the area of inclusive vocational education and training. 


TUECHTIG, MINA e.V. and stattWERKstatt

In the afternoon, we met the inclusion counseling of the Hanwerkskammer Berlin (Chamber of Crafts) in the inclusive CO-Working-Space TUECHTIG. We realized how interlocked and complex the support services for young people on the threshold to professional life have to be. More and more young people are encountering barriers and challenges. Almut Kirschbaum explained the interrelationships to us and emphasized how important follow-up individual counseling and support for young people with disabilities must be. Companies need to be better educated and young people need reassurance that their disability is not a disadvantage, but that they will receive the necessary support and compensation for disadvantages. It works, Kirschbaum emphasized. But everyone has to want it and work together.

Yildiz Akgün, managing director of MINA e.V., spoke about what exactly the support can look like and what measures are available. MINA primarily advises people with disabilities who have a migration background. MINAs intercultural and language skills facilitate access to knowledge and important resources for many families. What is "Supported Employment", "Personal Budget", "Budget for Education" - it is necessary to be able to orientate and to know own rights.


Our presented some professional biographical paths of people with support status "mental development" and intellectual disabilities to the Turkish colleagues. What possibilities of vocational integration are there for them? Because many of the measures of the Chamber of Crafts are not intended for them. Thus, we were able to critically explain the segragative system of so called "sheltered workshops for people with disabilities" and we pointed out the right of choice to work at the free labour market.

Inclusion companies and the Bistro in the Humboldt Forum

On September 29, we were guests of the board of inclusive companies Berlin. We met at the inclusive Bistro of Lebenswelten in the Humboldt Forum. There, 50% of the employees with a disability are employed on the free labor market. The Hotel MItmensch in the district of Treptow-Köpenick, where our guests stayed, is also an inclusive company. In addition, the hotel is comprehensively barrier-free.


Sports and Disability

To round out our visit, we visited the Olympia Stadium and the office of the Berlin Association of Sports for the Disabled and Rehabilitation. Competitive sports as a profession is still not compatible for many athletes with disabilities. Özcan Mutlu, the President of the BSB e.V. and the Vice President for Inclusion through Sports, Stefan Schenck, pointed out the binding nature of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Equality of people with disabilities in the free labor market is unfortunately still far from being achieved in Germany.


Feedback from the turkish delegation

"On the second day, during our visit to the August Sander school, 

I saw that they work with a team that provides mentoring in inclusion, 

which is unprecedented in our country. This team is trying to develop 

not only job training but also social skills and this seems to be a very effective 

method for a healthy individualization process."


"Before evaluating the whole visit, I would like to write something
about the August Sander school, which impressed me the most. It is
especially amazing that professional skills are taught in such an
orderly, disciplined and beautiful way, that the machines used, the
inventories are perfect and accessible. I think that the students
here are denitely very lucky to be educated in such a school. I
would very much like to see an institution where 7 important
professions (fields) are taught so meticulously under the same conditions
in Turkey."


"First of all, thanks for all the information since I am new to this type
of studies and projects, it was an eye opener for me and I loved
the idea to include not only special needs people but also people
with integration problems from different
backgrounds/problems/traumas. In Turkey all of
these disadvantaged people are divided into sub-groups and has
different projects to help them."


As the last stop to the study visit we had a common dinner at the Speisekombinat and already exchanged our thoughts over the next study trip. This will lead us to Turkey in March 2024. Many thanks to all the participants for these three intensive and successful days! Many thanks to the translators from MINA e.V. Ceren and Said and to Mahire from Interaktiv e.V.. Without their help the knowledge transfer and the valuable exchange would not be possible!


Stana Schenck

4th of October 2023


V.IN.E in Berlin 9/23 (MI, 11. Oktober 2023)

V.IN.E in Berlin - Images form the Study Visit of the turkish delgations from Tepebasi and SIsli in Berlin. On the tracks of the inclusive vocational education in Berlin. 27.-29th of September 2023.