Skip to main content

YouthWiki

EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Germany

Germany

3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.2 Administration and governance

On this page
  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectorial cooperation

Governance

Main actors
  • On a federal (Bund) level

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS) is the national body responsible for the labour market and youth employment. Its core tasks are to create job security and combat unemployment. This includes providing employment support and labour exchange services, paying unemployment benefit, awarding basic security benefits for job seekers, implementing pilot programmes, employing qualified professionals from abroad, compiling labour market statistics and ensuring an age-appropriate working environment. BMAS is also in charge of establishing and managing the EU Youth Guarantee (Jugendgarantie) and coordinates partnerships on all levels and in all sectors. It also compiles the progress reports.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) has general powers of coordination for vocational training. The federal government is responsible for practical vocational training in companies.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, BMWi) supports and funds programmes and initiatives to foster entrepreneurial skills in schools and for start-ups.

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ) is responsible for the Child and Youth Services Act (Kinder- und Jugendhilfegesetz), which corresponds to Book 8 (Buch VIII) of the Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch, SGB). It assists disadvantaged young people and young migrants by improving their general situation. As a cross-sectoral task, it liaises with other federal ministries, the federal states (Länder) and local municipalities as well as with child and youth services (Kinder- und Jugendhilfe) to represent the interests of children and young people in various fields of policy, including education, health and labour market affairs.

  • On a regional (Länder) level

At the federal state level, the respective state ministries (Landesministerien) for education, labour, social and economic affairs carry responsibility for vocational training, employment and entrepreneurship. The federal states take chief responsibility for the education system (the states set their own educational policies). As a result, the school systems across Germany vary from state to state. The federal states (state education authorities) are responsible for college-based vocational training and thus also the vocational colleges themselves. See also the information on administration and governance at central and/or regional level in Germany provided by Eurydice.

  • Conferences of the Ministers

The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (Ständige Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, KMK) meets regularly and helps to promote the common education-related interests of the states. The focus is on standardising and ensuring the comparability of certificates and grades, maintaining quality standards in schools, vocational training facilities and universities, and fostering cooperation between educational, scientific and cultural institutions.

The Conference of Ministers for Labour and Social Affairs (Arbeits- und Sozialministerkonferenz) advises on employment and social policy issues. It serves to promote cooperation between the federal states, to represent their interests vis-à-vis each other, and to liaise with the Federal Government. The chair in 2020 is the state Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

The Conference of Economics Ministers (Wirtschaftsministerkonferenz) is an important instrument for economic policy cooperation between the federal states. The Conference is composed of the economics ministers of the respective states, who discuss economic policy issues and adopt decisions that relate to economic matters. Chair in 2019/2020: Bremen.

  • Public Bodies

The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, BA) is the most important service provider on the labour market. It is responsible for contribution-funded unemployment insurance [in accordance with Book 3 of the Social Code (Drittes Buch Sozialgesetzbuch, SGB III)] and tax-funded basic security benefits for job seekers [in accordance with Book 2 Social Code (Zweites Buch Sozialgesetzbuch, SGB II)]. It provides labour and training market services for the public, companies and institutions. Employment agencies (Agenturen für Arbeit) can be found across Germany. These agencies are responsible for unemployment insurance. The job centres (Jobcenters) look after basic security benefits for job seekers. They are run jointly by BA and municipal organisations. They provide labour exchange and advisory services, and support with workplace integration, initial vocational training, continuing vocational training and re-entry onto the job market following unemployment.

The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (Bundesinstitut für Berufliche Bildung, BIBB) is an independent federal institution established under public law. It is active in the area of politics, science and the practical aspects of vocational training. Its tasks are described in Section 90 of the Vocational Training Act (Berufsbildungsgesetz). These include contributing to vocational training research in the form of academic research activities. The Office for Transitions to Training and Work (Fachstelle Übergänge in Ausbildung und Beruf) is attached to BIBB.

  • Youth welfare agencies

As part of vocational assistance scheme for young people (Jugendberufshilfe), youth welfare organisations support socially and personally disadvantaged young people throughout the transition from school to vocational training and then to gainful employment. Jugendberufshilfe incorporates many state-backed services and programmes for work and social integration. Key contacts:

The above mentioned and further agencies have joined together to create a Federal association for socio-educational youth work (Kooperationsverbund Jugendsozialarbeit).

General distribution of responsibilities

The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz) sets out how authorisations and responsibilities are divided between the federal government (Bund) and the states (Länder). The Länder have legislative powers in this context [e. g. education, employment and labour (market), economy) provided the federal government does not make use of its own legislative authority by force of law.

For information on administration and governance at central and/or regional level in Germany see also Eurydice and the website of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

Links to further information
  • On a federal (Bund) level

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS) is the national body responsible for the labour market and youth employment. Its core tasks are to create job security and combat unemployment. This includes providing employment support and labour exchange services, paying unemployment benefit, awarding basic security benefits for job seekers, implementing pilot programmes, employing qualified professionals from abroad, compiling labour market statistics and ensuring an age-appropriate working environment. BMAS is also in charge of establishing and managing the EU youth guarantee and coordinates partnerships on all levels and in all sectors. It also compiles the progress reports.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) has general powers of coordination for vocational training. The federal government is responsible for practical vocational training in companies.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, BMWi) supports and funds programmes and initiatives to foster entrepreneurial skills in schools and for start-ups.

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ) is responsible for the Child and Youth Services Act (Kinder- und Jugendhilfegesetz), which corresponds to Book VIII (Buch VIII) of the Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch, SGB). It assists disadvantaged young people and young migrants by improving their general situation. As a cross-sectoral task, it liaises with other federal ministries, the federal states (Länder) and local municipalities as well as with child and youth services (Kinder- und Jugendhilfe) to represent the interests of children and young people in various fields of policy, including education, health and labour market affairs.

  • On a regional (Länder) level

At the federal state level, the respective state ministries (Landesministerien) for education, labour, social and economic affairs carry responsibility for vocational training, employment and entrepreneurship. The federal states take chief responsibility for the education system (the states set their own educational policies). As a result, the school systems across Germany vary from state to state. The federal states (state education authorities) are responsible for college-based vocational training and thus also the vocational colleges themselves. See also the information on administration and governance at central and/or regional level in Germany provided by Eurydice.

  • Conferences of the Ministers

The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (Ständige Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, KMK) meets regularly and helps to promote the common education-related interests of the states. The focus is on standardising and ensuring the comparability of certificates and grades, maintaining quality standards in schools, vocational training facilities and universities, and fostering cooperation between educational, scientific and cultural institutions.

The Conference of Ministers for Labour and Social Affairs (Arbeits- und Sozialministerkonferenz) advises on employment and social policy issues. It serves to promote cooperation between the federal states, to represent their interests vis-à-vis each other, and to liaise with the Federal Government. Chair in 2019: Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

The Conference of Economics Ministers (Wirtschaftsministerkonferenz) is an important instrument for economic policy cooperation between the federal states. The Conference is composed of the economics ministers of the respective states, who discuss economic policy issues and adopt decisions that relate to economic matters. Chair in 2019/2020: Bremen.

  • Public Bodies

The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, BA) is the most important service provider on the labour market. It is responsible for contribution-funded unemployment insurance [in accordance with Book III Social Code (Drittes Buch Sozialgesetzbuch, SGB III)] and tax-funded basic security benefits for job seekers [in accordance with Book II Social Code (Zweites Buch Sozialgesetzbuch, SGB II)]. It provides labour and training market services for the public, companies and institutions. Employment agencies (Agenturen für Arbeit) can be found across Germany. These agencies are responsible for unemployment insurance. The job centres (Jobcenters) look after basic security benefits for job seekers. They are run jointly by BA and municipal organisations. They provide labour exchange and advisory services, and support with workplace integration, initial vocational training, continuing vocational training and re-entry onto the job market following unemployment.

The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (Bundesinstitut für Berufliche Bildung, BIBB) is an independent federal institution established under public law. It is active in the area of politics, science and the practical aspects of vocational training. Its tasks are described in Section 90 of the Vocational Training Act (Berufsbildungsgesetz). These include contributing to vocational training research in the form of academic research activities. The Office for Transitions to Training and Work (Fachstelle Übergänge in Ausbildung und Beruf) is attached to BIBB.

  • Youth welfare agencies

As part of vocational assistance for young people (Jugendberufshilfe), youth welfare organisations support socially and personally disadvantaged young people throughout the transition from school to vocational training and then to gainful employment. Jugendberufshilfe offers many state-backed services and programmes for work and social integration. Key contacts:

The above mentioned and further agencies have joined together to create the Federal cooperation association for socio-educational youth work (Kooperationsverbund Jugendsozialarbeit).

General distribution of responsibilities

The Basic Law (Grundgesetz) for the Federal Republic of Germany sets out how authorisations and responsibilities are divided between the federal government (Bund) and the states (Länder). The Länder have legislative powers in this context (e. g. education, employment and labour (market), economy) provided the federal government does not make use of its own legislative authority by force of law.

For information on administration and governance at central and/or regional level in Germany see also Eurydice and the website of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

Links to further information

Cross-sectoral cooperation

The Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries (Gemeinsame Geschäftsordnung der Bundesministerien, GGO) set out the principles of organisation of the federal ministries and inter-ministerial cooperation. The federal states support and enhance the government's labour market policy. The federal government and the federal states work together in joint federal government/states government working groups (Bund-Länder-Arbeitsgruppen). The groups discuss relevant issues, including labour-market related issues, and develop proposals for improvement and recommendations.

In each federal state, a cooperation committee (Kooperationsausschuss) has been established in accordance with section 18b of Book 2 of the Social Code (Zweites Buch Sozialgesetzbuch, SGB II). It is composed of the relevant regional government authority and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales). It coordinates the implementation of basic security benefits for job seekers in the federal states.

The Young People and Career Alliance (Arbeitsbündnis Jugend und Beruf) offers a helping hand in the cooperation between local bodies – those responsible for promoting employment and ensuring basic security benefits for job seekers, as well as local and school authorities – on the transition from school to work. The aim of the alliance is also to improve cooperation with other local partners, such as schools, businesses, professional bodies, trade unions and employers' associations.

Until 2018, the Alliance for Initial and Further Training (Allianz für Aus- und Weiterbildung) was a commitment by the government, the Federal Employment Agency, the federal states, industry and the trade unions to a high-quality dual system of vocational education and training aiming to integrate top-performing young individuals, disadvantaged young people, young people from a migrant background and young people with disabilities into the practical element of vocational training equally. The current coalition agreement (Koalitionsvertrag) for the 19th parliamentary term (2017-2021) foresees the continuation of the Alliance. On 26 August 2019, representatives of the federal government (Bundesregierung), the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, BA), the business associations BDA, BFB, DIHK and ZDH, and of unions and federal states signed a new agreement to this effect (2019-2021). Information about the alliances of the federal states (Länderbündnisse) for initial and further training can also be found on the website of the Alliance.

State and non-state agencies work together to assist people transitioning between school and work. These agencies include welfare benefit providers such as employment agencies (Agenturen für Arbeit), job centres and youth welfare offices (Jugendämter), as well as schools, employers' associations and trade unions. For the transition from school to work, the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) works with the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (Kultusministerkonferenz der Länder, KMK) under a framework agreement on cooperation between schools and career counselling. Schools and businesses can work together via the SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT network. Local employment agencies and job centres plan training schemes together with employers, professional bodies and associations to ensure they meet local needs.

Youth employment agencies

Youth employment agencies (Jugendberufsagenturen) bring together agents of child and youth services and agents of employment services. Implementing the Youth Guarantee (Jugendgarantie) involves trying to improve cooperation between the various organisations responsible for providing services under the different Books of the Social Codes (Sozialgesetzbücher), II Basic security benefits (Grundsicherung), III Employment promotion (Arbeitsförderung) and VIII Child and youth services (Kinder- und Jugendhilfe). In January 2017, Germany had 289 alliances of this kind. The concept created by the Youth Employment Agency of Hamburg sets a popular example.

Further reading on youth employment agencies: Report by the Institute for Employment Research (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung) on youth employment agencies and placing young adults in vocational training and work (Jugendberufsagenturen und die Vermittlung von jungen Erwachsenen in Ausbildung und Arbeit).