Press release

“Career Orientation for Refugees” programme to continue

New applications may be made to BIBB with immediate effect

01/2020 | Bonn, 08.01.2020

As of now, inter-company training centres and comparable organisations are able to submit new applications to the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) within the scope of the “Career Orientation for Refugees” Programme (BOF). New funding guidelines published at the end of December 2019 enable BOF courses to be implemented until the end of 2021.

BOF courses last for between 13 and 26 weeks and have been financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2016. They take place in apprentice workshops and companies and are aimed at disadvantaged refugees and immigrants with particular language support needs who are no longer subject to compulsory education. The specific objective is to prepare such persons for entry to vocational education and training. Technical and administrative support for the BOF Programme is provided by the “Career Orientation Office” at BIBB.

There has been a constant rise in the number of training place applicants from a refugee background over recent years. 38,100 such applicants were recorded in 2019, approximately the same level as the previous year. Because overall demand for training places is falling, this means that the number of persons from a refugee background has even increased as a proportion of all training place applicants. Nevertheless, the progression rate of applicants from a refugee background to company-based or school-based training remains below the national average. Whereas around 50% of applicants not from a migrant background progress to training, the corresponding figure for those from a refugee background is 35.2%, only just over a third. The goal of the BOF courses is to contribute towards securing a supply of skilled workers by tapping into this area of potential further.

BOF courses afford participants insights into up to three training occupations. Specialist language and occupation-related teaching provides targeted preparation for the requirements they will face at vocational school. Individual socio-pedagogical support helps facilitate subsequent placement in a training or introductory training programme. Around 3,300 immigrants have taken advantage of the BOF courses nationwide thus far. Around half of those completing the programme were successfully placed in training or introductory training afterwards.

Inter-company vocational training centres and comparable VET centres carry out a preliminary investigation as to whether the young people interested fulfil the prerequisites for the training or introductory training programme they are seeking to embark upon. In order to support training practice, the Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (f-bb) has acted on behalf of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) to define criteria and analyse possible selection procedures. A BIBB guide will be published at the start of February.

Advanced training programmes have also been developed to support the VET centres with the specialist language and occupation-related teaching. BIBB has also brought its expertise to bear in this regard by evaluating concepts for integrated professional and language learning in vocational orientation and preparation courses for refugees and immigrants.

Further information


Point of contact at BIBB:

Gerburg Benneker; email: benneker@bibb.de

Specimen copy requested if printed.