• JOBLINGE is a six-month programme targeting challenged youth who have left high school and are having difficulty securing a full-time job.
  •  The programme rests on two key pillars: practical, applicable real-world experience and one-on-one mentoring. 
  • The goal of the programme is to make a measurable contribution to the sustainable reduction of youth unemployment in Germany.
The problem addressed by the campaign: 
  • Each year, a growing percentage of Germany’s graduates leave high school with limited prospects for securing full-time employment – and no clear means of turning their situation around. 
  • The problem translates into a range of challenges and costs, including a widening socioeconomic gap and a high demand for public assistance.
  • To combat this problem, the country’s federal employment office spends approximately 6 billion euros (approximately US$ 8.3 billion) each year on support programmes targeting the transitional period between high school and employment. By most measures, however, this spending has had limited impact. Currently, an estimated 600,000 disadvantaged German youths lack the qualifications to hold a full-time job.
  • The JOBLINGE programme gives disadvantaged youth the chance to prove themselves in practice and places them directly in vocational training or in jobs at partnering companies.
  •  JOBLINGE builds on several key success factors within the programme.
    • Participants are selected through an initial invitation to do charitable work. This is to test their motivation and ensure their commitment. Frustration and passivity can be overcome by the feeling of having worked hard to enter the programme.
    • The strong need for individual mentoring support can be met only by professionally leveraging civic engagement (volunteer mentors).
    • The focus is on learning on the job and gaining relevant social and professional skills at partnering companies, rather than on further educating school-weary adolescents.
    • There is a targeted one-on-one placement of adolescents to qualifying internships that lead to coveted vocational training spots or employment in partnering companies to ensure the programme’s sustainable success.
  • So far, as many as 500 companies and around 300 dedicated individuals have been involved as mentors in the project. 
  • Funding comes from businesses and the government, mostly at the city level. The ratio of private sector funding ranges from 20% to 50% for each operation.
  • There is a 60% placement rate for jobs or apprenticeship positions and a 90% sustainability rate after 12 months.
Why has it worked?: 
  • A diverse set of partners is working together to improve job opportunities for young people. 
  • The programme consists of four primary elements, all leading to positive outcomes:
    1. Leverage: Intensive individualized support is provided through one-on-one mentoring and qualification for young people by volunteers and pro bono partners throughout the process.
    2. Professional platform for civic engagement: Non-profit JOBLINGE offers a professional platform for a network of all relevant stakeholders in society (public financiers, pro bono partners, businesses, and volunteers).
    3. Scalability: Broad impact is achieved by applying social franchising to ensure scalability – instead of locally isolated initiatives.
    4. Win-win situation: Internships create value for both the youth and businesses. The young people receive on-the-job learning and internships to provide access to the job market. Partner businesses get access to qualified, motivated potential apprentices or employees.
Conclusions and Recommendations: 
  • Conventional commercial training and employment agencies face challenges when trying to meet the needs of all stakeholders in the current system, and they are generally driven by political, educational, or business interests. 
  • JOBLINGE creates a platform for all groups and systematically engages the community to help youth effectively.
  • A collaborative public-private partnership offers potential for success.
Foundational Issues: 
Widespread unemployability
Level of Collaboration: 
Level 2: Collaboration across organizations within a country
Economic and political context: 
  • 650,000 youths in Germany do not find jobs or apprenticeships after secondary school. Of these 350,000 are continuously enrolled in transition programmes to help them find jobs.
  • One in six German adolescents face long-time unemployment. This means a lasting dependence on the welfare state and little hope for a self-determined life.
  • The JOBLINGE target group (school-weary, but motivated to work) has little to no chance of finding employment, as they lack the required grades and often the necessary social skills. JOBLINGE gives them the chance to prove themselves in practice and places them directly in vocational training or in jobs at partnering companies.

Source: Statistics of the Federal Employment Agency; Bertelsmann Stiftung

About the Author(s): 

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm with offices in 42 countries. BCG partners with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises.