Q-PRINTS&SERVICE gGMBH – providing training and work experience for the jobs market

Q-Prints&Service gGmbH (QPS) provides training and work opportunities for unemployed women and men who face hurdles in accessing the primary jobs market, as well as for adolescents and young adults who do not have formal school-leaving and/or vocational qualifications. Our projects are also geared towards people who suffer from dependency problems or multiple impediments to finding employment, or who have handicaps, such as people with severe disabilities for instance. QPS is a subsidiary of the Aktionsgemeinschaft Drogen e.V. which is based in Pforzheim, and of the Baden-Württembergischer Landesverband für Prävention und Rehabilitation gGmbH in Renchen. It was founded in November 2001.

As an enterprise which promotes social inclusion, QPS provides the target groups referred to above with a variety of training and work experience opportunities, and therefore assists them with the process of integrating into society and the world of work.

There are 220 places providing training, work and advice in various projects and programmes, where a special focus is also placed on transnational activities for providing employment market-related support. This includes carrying out exchange and mobility activities within Europe, including for groups of people who have difficulty accessing the jobs market. QPS cooperates in this area with partner organisations in various European countries, and currently with organisations in Vicenza/Italy, Barcelona/Spain, and Totnes/UK. An important part of the transnational activities are contacts between experts on subjects relating to the employment market, with the emphasis on integrating people with handicaps into the jobs market. Taking part in the expert contact forums are experts from the partner countries and from Germany.

The programmes operate using various methods of vocational integration spanning a broad methodological spectrum, from the step-by-step moving into employment to high-level training opportunities.

The aims of its work are to

  • provide personalised and resource-focused support for the move into gainful employment
  • boost personal initiative (empowerment)
  • improve physical and mental health
  • help with the finding and arranging of training, retraining, or employment in the jobs market
  • gear the services provided in such a way that they take account the actual life circumstances of men and women (gender mainstreaming)
  • build up regional networking structures

The facilities for providing work and training include service and production businesses which encompass a wide range of opportunities, from paper processing (cutting and folding), lettershop work and copying and bookbinding to data processing, typesetting, graphical design services, and silkscreen printing. In addition, packaging work is undertaken for all sectors of industry. Since December 2006 QPS has operated the Goldener Anker restaurant in Pforzheim as a training and apprenticeship operation for jobs in the hospitality industry, and in 2010 this activity was extended to a subsidiary operation, the ‘Café und Bistro Prosa’ in the city library.

A professional team comprising screenprinting experts, graphic designers, a qualified professional caterer, a bookbinder, and male/female chefs and qualified restaurant employees ensures that high quality products are provided and that assignments are carried out on time. At the same time, they are responsible for providing specialist theoretical and practical guidance to the people taking part in the projects. They receive support in relation to methodological and didactical issues from qualified social workers and teachers.

Q-Prints&Service gGmbH follows a holistic, personalised and resource-focused approach in its work. Social, health and psychological problem situations frequently hinder access to learning, training, vocational training or work opportunities. This is why QPS makes use of a tightly-knit network which, among many other actors, encompasses other social services such as advice centres provided by partners, the probation service, debt counselling services, cooperating doctors, the institutions providing employment opportunities, and the educational institutions.

In relation to employment market integration, QPS is working on establishing a networking system with and between businesses.