Improving training for technical subjects among young people in Schwäbisch Gmünd

An educational project is helping to provide a region in south-west Germany with a skilled workforce.

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Construction work on the new building gets underway. The exhibition hall is in the foreground and a building containing offices and classrooms is behind the construction site. Construction work on the new building gets underway. The exhibition hall is in the foreground and a building containing offices and classrooms is behind the construction site.

The city of Schwäbisch Gmünd has a high proportion of technical and industrial jobs and a similarly high proportion of young people with no training. To tackle this situation the Gmünder Wissenswerkstatt für Technik und Technische Berufe (Gmünd Knowledge Workshop for Technology and Technical Occupations) has been established to provide an extra-mural educational facility that will improve the skills and enthusiasm for technology among school pupils without training and thus to raise training rates, create employment and boost regional competitiveness.

The project, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is particularly aimed at helping youngsters from educationally-disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with an extra-curricular opportunity to learn about engineering and technology.

The project’s target group is young people aged between eight and eighteen. Pupils with an immigrant background are especially welcome and provided with specially-designed incentives. The project also organises special courses and workshops for girls in handicrafts and industrial art.

Tapping into untapped potential

Project manager Kurt Schaal said that those taking part in the project’s training schemes would have the opportunity to learn about technical professions in a fun and enjoyable way. Hopefully the project would succeed in bringing to light pupils’ previously untapped potential for technical subjects. Cooperation on the project between businesses, schools, high-schools and universities would help to improve career possibilities for young people and would also address the region’s skilled worker shortage.

It is expected that two or three permanent teaching posts will be created as a result of the project as well as eight to ten jobs for freelance teachers.

“In the long-run, the project will help to reduce the skilled worker shortage in the region and will stimulate innovation. The core benefits of the project are not jobs created directly by the project but improving the competitiveness of firms and creating new jobs in the long-term.”

Kurt Schaal, Project Manager


Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Gmünder Wissenswerksatt für Technik und Technische Berufe [Gmünd Knowledge Workshop for Technology and Technical Occupations]” amounted to EUR 6 100 000, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 2 950 000 from the “Baden-Württemberg” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The regional contribution was EUR 1 800 000, with the town of Schwäbisch Gmünd contributing EUR 1 300 000.


Draft date

08/05/2014