Leonida – Transnational additional qualification in construction and hotel and restaurant professions for young people from Berlin

“It’s the same ground, just somewhere else.”
Lothar Necke, participant in the Leonida project in Vienna

The problem and the demand

Berlin had youth unemployment rate of around 13% and thus the highest nationwide when the project started. At the same time, many companies in the region complained about a lack of qualified personnel. New ways to integrate young people into the labour market were required, particularly for those who are faced with extra barriers. “Leonida“ showed an innovative approach: further training in the industries of the future, namely energy-efficient construction and hotel and gastronomy industry, together with operating practices abroad and intensive coaching.

Objectives and Activities

“Leonida” was a practice-oriented project. It was divided into three phases: First, participants received a two-month training and language tuition. This was followed by a three-month internship in Austria, Poland, Belgium or Turkey. Back in Berlin, they received individual coaching and started looking for a job.

 “I decided to participate in the Leonida project in order to go to Ankara and to prepare for vocational training. I gained a lot of self-confidence and became more self-aware. This was great for my personal development. Due to my stay there and the certificate I received, I was able to find an apprenticeship training position afterwards.”

Sibel Yilmaz, participant in the Leonida project in Ankara

The IdA projects were implemented in direct cooperation with the job centres, which were also project partners. “Leonida” was therefore a part of the integration chain. At the project-related workshops in Ankara, Berlin and St. Vith, labour market experts from Berlin were able to see the young people in action. They had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with European projects for the integration of disadvantaged young people, to prepare and develop cooperation strategies for tailor-made support for disadvantaged young people.

The project took advantage of synergy effects from two previous BGZ-projects: Trialog und Umbau & KO which developed innovative teaching and learning materials. Leonida has innovatively combined these materials with several months work experience abroad into a certified additional qualification, which corresponds to the needs of the local economy.

What remains – benefits and sustainability

The placement rate of young people, equipped with the additionally acquired skills and fresh experience abroad, – was excellent in comparison with other measures for employment promotion. Through this approach, good and qualified employees were able to be made available for the construction industry, the hotel, gastronomy and tourism industry in Berlin.

 “I was able to gain work experience abroad. I overcame my prejudices towards foreigners and improved my language knowledge. I am well prepared for any stay abroad now, be it for business or pleasure. On my return to Berlin I found a position as a cook in a restaurant in Stadtmitte, right in the centre of the capital. Now that’s something!”

Christoph Mählis, participant in the Leonida project in Ankara


Documentation of the workshops for labour market experts
1 Berlin 2 Ankara 3 St. Vith 4 Berlin
Project flyers
Construction work Hotel and restaurant industry


Grenzecho, October 2010
Die Chancen für Arbeit suchende Jugendliche verbessern
Hürriyet, August 2010
Praktikumsmöglichkeiten für Jugendliche

The project “Leonida – transnationale Zusatzqualifikation für Berliner Jugendliche aus Bau- und HoGa-Berufen“ is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs through the thematic ESF-program IdA – Integration durch Austausch.

Back to project overview


Implemented in:

Germany, Belgium, Poland, Austria and Turkey


2009 – 2012

Berlin partners:

Chamber of Small Business and Skilled Crafts, Seminar and Conference centre of the Akademie Berlin-Schmöckwitz, Jobcenter Berlin Tempelhof-Schöneberg

Transnational partners:

ZAWM St. Vith (BE), WIR – Chamber of Crafts of Wielkopolskie Region in Poznan and LINGWISTA Warsaw (PL), Goethe-Institut Ankara (TK), die Berater® Wien (AT)

Project website:



Dr. Hilde Hansen
Tel. +49(30)809941-16


BMAS / ESF: Program IdA – Integration durch Austausch