ARALE: Workshop on literacy for placement officers

Pro Arbeit – Kreis Offenbach – (AöR) Kommunales Jobcenter
Municipal job center

A campaign targeting placement officers working in the employment agency of a local community. The objective was to raise their awareness on literacy and numeracy by organising a workshop. The preparation lasted for six months, including the preparation of various project documents.

Placement officers face people with literacy issues every day. This project aims to teach them how to evaluate and recognise someone that has literacy issues and how to talk to them about adult education. They can then build a bridge between the welfare system and the learning system with suitable learning offers. About 1/3 of the jobseekers that come to the job centre have difficulties reading texts, and 1/8 can´t even read sentences. Furthermore, the problem is increasing as there are less and less jobs that do not require qualifications.

Awareness raising campaigns for placement officers were done in other job centres, as part of a national German strategy. For this campaign the employment centre with the cooperation of the local Volkshochschule contacted a company with experience in literacy projects and training of staff in employment centers. There is also a lot of information on how to conduct this kind of workshop on and

What was achieved?

Placement officers reported that it was very interesting for them to learn about literacy and numeracy issues, as it is a situation they face every day. Job seeker would say “I can´t sign now, I´ll sign later”, or they wouldn´t come to a meeting with the placement officer since they couldn´t read the letters telling them to do so.

The activity was successful because information and participation opportunities for the placement officers were set up before the workshop. Everyone in contact with clients got the opportunity to learn about literacy and numeracy.