German youth labour employment agencies (JBA) bring together career guidance and counselling services in one single place.


JBA targets young people (< 25) in transition from education to the labour market and in particular those at risk of dropping out of education and training, as well as those facing obstacles in the labour market.


Type of policy/initiative



Level of implementation / Scope

The plan is for JBAs to become a national measure with JBA Hamburg serving as a role model. 289 JBAs are currently established. 53 of them are already working today “under one roof”. The focus of this fiche is on Hamburg where JBA has been mainstreamed. 

Stage of implementation

The initiative to launch a JBA in Hamburg was started in 2011 (The federal initiative was launched in 2010). The Hamburg model is mainstream and will be the basis for all other regions in Germany.

Aims of policy/initiative

JBA operates on various levels: school-level (systematic vocational orientation), regional level (counselling, including case conferences and case management) and State level (planning of measures ensuring the coherence of offers).

The aim of JBA Hamburg is to unite career guidance and counselling services in one single place, in order “not to lose anyone on the way”.

By uniting all federal and regional actors offering support services for young people at risk of early leaving in education and training, obstacles such as institutional barriers and geographical distance should be removed.

Features and types of activities implemented

JBA offers counselling, establishing relevant connections, and support with:

  • vocational orientation and preparation
  • finding a suitable apprenticeship placement
  • choosing a suitable course of study
  • choosing suitable school-based educational paths
  • overcoming problems at school or at the workplace
  • overcoming personal problems or obstacles
  • support through special forms of apprenticeship e.g. part-time apprenticeship for single mothers
  • support through apprenticeship-places at apprenticeship-agencies

These services are offered by a number of collaborating institutions such as the Hamburg employment agency, job centres, school (HIBB), local authorities (social services) and the Ministry of Labour, Social and Family Affairs and Integration -now collaborating under one roof, functioning as a “one-stop government”. These institutions offer:

  • Vocational orientation, guidance and counselling regarding general schools, vocational schools and apprenticeship training and higher education.
    • Vocational guidance for youth in need of help integrating into the labour market, social support and EQ , etc.[1]
      •  “Azubi +”[2] services for employers looking for apprentices as well as placements for young learners who wish to start an apprenticeship training, thus matching companies and apprentices by offering additional support to both parties
      • Youth work and family support.
    • Direct collaboration with schools: all students leaving school are required to register at JBA so that guidance and counselling services can be offered to them until they have found their education or training path.

[1] See other measure fiches for details on AbH and EQ

[2] “Azubi” refers to the German word for ‘apprentice‘, mostly in the context of apprenticeship training.


Each of the five partners pays the costs of its staff and expenses. Common expenses will be split equally between the five partners. 

Evaluation of the measure

An external evaluation of JBA Hamburg is ongoing as of 2013 and was planned from the outset. It evaluates the organisation of JBA Hamburg and its allocation of resources, the collaboration of all stakeholders and its effectiveness in the sense of added value of JBA Hamburg for youth and employers.

 A system of internal monitoring was put in place to analyse the effectiveness of the measure.

Evidence of effectiveness of the measure

There is no hard evidence establishing the effectiveness of the measure, however information contained in JBA material and interviews that have been conducted show that JBA has increased the number of young people being guided into apprenticeships compared to before.

Overall, JBA Hamburg has become a well-known institution and has been replicated in many German regions which is a clear indicator of success.

Success factors

The following success factors are based on the testimonies of participants in the measure interviewed for Cedefop’s study:

  1. One-stop government (shorter ways/faster support): by uniting all actors in the field of vocational counselling for young people under one roof, the measure made it easier and faster for young people to “drop by” at a different institution located very closely in the same building and ask for help. A young person can also be directed to a programme within JBA Hamburg which can better assist them, thus overcoming the problem of losing hold of a young person by sending them “out of the house” and not being able to directly lead them to a different institution’s counsellor.
  2. Common “trademark”, easier external communication: young people are reached more easily by promoting one single actor who can help them with any problem they may have, rather than promoting many different institutions with different focus points.
  3. Systematic cooperation/“culture of cooperation”: after a short period of time, all stakeholders got very used to collaborating and seeing the benefits of being able to offer direct and fast help for any possible situation the young person may need help with, in fields other than their own field of expertise.
  4. Cooperation with companies: by including measures such as “Azubi +”, cooperation between guidance counsellors and companies could be improved and more apprenticeships could be offered to young people.
  5. Political support: ministries and other political stakeholders have agreed to secure funding for JBA Hamburg for the upcoming years, thus granting financial stability to the project.

Contact details for further information

Contact name
Christine Schroeder
Contact telephone
+4940 2485 1253
Contact email
Christine.Schroeder3 [at]