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Meeting Critical Skills Shortage in Elderly Care: Launch of an innovative training curriculum in Hesse for young people with learning challenges

The Berufsbildungswerk Südhessen (bbw) has developed an innovative training concept in elderly care with the support of education stakeholders in the region of Hesse and funders such as the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. For the first time, it will offer disadvantaged youth with learning challenges the opportunity to complete a vocational training in this field. The training concept offers modular training opportunities combining elderly care and “home economics” (the German translation for domestic management services) and good perspectives for labor market integration.

May 30th, 2016 (Frankfurt, Germany) – Over the past 30 years, bbw Südhessen has stood up for disadvantaged youth with special needs or learning challenges, enabling them to rely on themselves to achieve good living standards by providing them access to decent jobs-. Now, with a new training concept, bbw Südhessen is also helping tackle the rising demand in Germany for trained elderly caregivers which has emerged as the population ages. Already, more and more healthcare jobs remain unfilled due to a lack of qualified personnel.

“With the new training concept, we can offer opportunities to very committed youth who had, up to now, encountered barriers to vocational training in this sector. We are creating work opportunities for youth with learning challenges and, at the same time, the care sector will gain highly motivated personnel”.

Ralf Heiß, Senior Vocational Training Manager, The Berufsbildungswerk Südhessen

The focus of the new vocational training, "Skilled practitioner of Home Economics with additional qualification Elderly Care Assistant,” is the assistance to elderly people. The knowledge and skills required for this work are both theoretical and practical and include, for example, ”home economics” services like food preparation and serving, textile and premises cleaning as well as basic nursing skills such as personal hygiene, assistance with mobility and organization of leisure activities. The bbw Südhessen coordinates the pilot and, together with the public vocational school in Karben, is responsible for the home economics training part. The state-school for geriatric care in Ortenberg “VDAB Schulungszentrum GmbH, in cooperation with facilities for inpatient nursing care for the elderly, are responsible for the training component in geriatric care. Trainees will graduate after three years as qualified elderly care personnel after an additional supervision by a skilled elderly care worker.

Supporting innovations in training, like this one, which help improve career opportunities for disadvantaged youth and fill important skills gaps is a core part of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s strategy. The Foundation supports this project not only through philanthropic funding but also with an active involvement in the advisory board and networking. Support for this project is part of J.P. Morgan’s 5-year “New Skills at Work” initiative which aims to identify strategies and support solutions that help improve labour market infrastructure and develop the skilled workforce globally.

"Through our Foundation, we want to purposefully open new career opportunities for disadvantaged youth starting their working life. We work together with companies like bbw which are able to innovate to support these target groups.”

Burkhard Kübel- Sorger, Chairman of J.P. Morgan AG in Frankfurt

A prominent advisory board gathering public and private representatives as well as experts and researchers in the care sector supports the development and implementation of the pilot project. "We are very glad that we could secure the support of this group of experts to develop an innovative and sustainable training in the elderly care sector which also meets a critical skills shortage,” says bbw project manager Dr. Sabine Tomm.

Vocational training
"Skilled practitioner Home Economics with additional Qualification Elderly Care Assistant”

3 years, Start: 08. August 2016


  • For this training, the competent public institutions (e.g. Employment Agency) must have vetted the claim to a professional rehabilitation (integration in professional life) according to the Social Security Code.
  • The cost of training and/or housing is usually fully covered by public institutions.

After successful completion of the training, the participants graduate with two professional qualifications (Elderly Care Assistant, Skilled Professional Home Economics) and can access further qualifications as Elderly Carer and Home Economist.

Advisory Board – Pilot Project

  • Tatjana Astachov – School Director Altenpflegeschule Ortenberg, VDAB Schulungszentrum GmbH
  • Nicole Benthin – Advisor Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration
  • Peter Gudat – Reha-Expert, Employment Agency Hesse
  • Ralf Heiß – Member of  bbw Südhessen’s management committee
  • Burkhard Kübel-Sorger –  Chairman J.P. Morgan AG, Frankfurt
  • Saadet Sen –Head of Department, Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO) Bezirk Hessen-Süd e.V.
  • Dr. Sabine Tomm – Project Manager, bbw Südhessen
  • Dr. Christina Wessels – Counsellor on health care professions, Darmstadt  Regional Council 

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. The firm uses its global resources, expertise, insights and scale to address some of the most urgent challenges facing communities around the world including the need for increased economic opportunity. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at JPMorganChase.com.