The broadly based action programme ‘Prospects for re-entering the workforce’ (‘Perspektive Wiedereinstieg’) supports both women and men who took a family-related career break of several years, providing them with favourable prospects for reintegrating into the career world and thus making a considerable contribution to fair income prospects in the person’s career life. Since March 2008, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend) has conducted the action programme together with the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) and other cooperating partners. The programme is also addressed to domestic partners as well as personnel managers in companies.
The action programme established low-threshold access to information, advice, training and other measures for integration into the labour market. Therefore a network of stakeholders and partners has been built up supporting the individual process of re-entering the workforce. Various components and initiatives have been bundled under the umbrella of the action programme:
The ‘Prospects for re-entering the workforce’ network is a forum in which participants from the action programme can interact. The internet portal www.perspektive-wiedereinstieg.de offers a wide range of information, ideas and guidance related to the process of re-entering the workforce. In 2012 a cooperation with the online career platform Xing was added to the portfolio and a special online platform has been set up. In 2011 a “reintegration calculator” was integrated in the website as an innovative online tool enabling individuals to calculate the economic benefits of re-entering the workforce. The European Social Fund (ESF) co-financed programme ‘Prospects for re-entering the workforce’ model programme started in 2009 and has since then successfully reintegrated a good number of participants into job positions suited to their qualifications.
The first phase of the ESF programme was monitored and evaluated by the German Institute for Employment Research (IAB). The findings clearly show that the project was both valuable and successful, since the support mechanisms provided a total of 17,300 women with information and advice on re-entering the workforce. Of these, 4,660 women took part in the intensive coaching programme, while many other women were enticed out of the hidden reserves of the workforce and given specific assistance in starting work again. Of those participants who completed the programme (n=3,645), a total of 2,504 were integrated into the workforce. This represents 69 per cent of participants. Sixty-five per cent of them found a job, 12 per cent became self-employed and 23 per cent began further training.
The findings also show that the satisfaction levels of programme participants (73%) was significantly higher than that of non-participants assisted only by job centres and social assistance centres (35%). Participants in the programme were also significantly more motivated to find work than non-participants (51% compared to 23%).
The action programme puts the issue of workforce re-entry on the political agenda, thereby promoting collaboration and networking with individual federal states and cooperation with networking partners, and enabling contact to be made with employers and human resources Managers.