I'm just good for nothing

"I'm not good, I can't do anything, I won't be anything"

Apprenticeship search. Some teenagers carry a heavy backpack with them. The springboard association is working on this. Free.

Eda Shabaz (left in the picture) is 16 years old, her friend Melodi Elmas (right) 20 years old. Both girls drop out of school, and for both of them the search for an apprenticeship position was a long chain of demotivating experiences. “No chance, the companies told me to my face on 'Apprenticeship Day'”, Eda complains, “and that I will never find an apprenticeship position without a ninth grade degree.” Melodi agrees: “The companies praise each other, 'We train apprentices'. And then they reject us so disrespectfully. That doesn't make a good picture. "

So young and already so frustrated: Eda and Melodi were on the verge of becoming so-called NEETs, “Not in Education, Employment or Training”. Without school, training or a job, they threatened to fall out of the system. Typically both have a migrant background. Both parents come from Turkey. Eda's father is a kitchen helper, her mother a cleaner. You speak very little German. They would like to see “a good job” for their daughter, but how are you supposed to explain the possibilities of the training and job market to her?

Eda and Melodi were lucky. They have been included in the “spacelabirls” program run by the Sprungbrett association (www.sprungbrett.or.at). This is a low-threshold labor market policy project for adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 who find it difficult to gain a foothold in professional life. There are four locations in Vienna; three are mixed, the one in Vienna-Fünfhaus only looks after girls.

Susanne Gugrel heads it as one of two co-managing directors: “Our experience has shown that girls don't like to stay in mixed locations. But if only women are there. ”With 85 percent of migrant clients, this can often be explained with religious reasons: Some Muslim girls are only allowed to enter women's rooms.
The spacelab program consists of two parts. The first gently introduces the participants to social group structures. Many have long left school, have experienced bullying, and some have experienced violence and abuse. You first have to regain confidence and be ready to spend whole days in the group.

Almost everyone, says Gugrel, comes with the belief "I am not good, I can not do anything, I can not find anything". Psychologists and social workers are working on this. The girls regain their self-confidence by doing small jobs: they put letters in envelopes, work with wood and clay, learn simple office tasks. The wages are ten euros pocket money.

Next stop: apprenticeship or job

Those who have stabilized themselves, are ready for regular work and are generally entitled to AMS can switch to workshop training. The rules are stricter here. Now you have to come every day and get to know different professions on trial days and excursions.

In another program (“youngFIT”) the girls test their manual and technical skills. "The fact that girls don't go into these areas is not because they can't," says Gugrel, "but because they don't know anything about it." In the program, they find that soldering, for example, is not that difficult: " At home they were told that it was not for them. "
At the same time, the springboard workers are trying to find trial internships, apprenticeships and business partnerships. They practice job interviews (“take the chewing gum out of your mouth”) and tell the girls what matters in the job.

The most important thing at the end: All services are free, some require AMS entitlement.

At a glance

The Sprungbrett association is financed by the AMS Vienna, the European Social Fund, the Women's Department of the City of Vienna, the Federal Ministry for Education and Women as well as Families and Youth, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Vienna Employee Promotion Fund (Waff).