Learning shops in Berlin - LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg (LNBB)


Learning shops in Berlin - LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg (LNBB)

1. The starting point – why

education counselling?

People with little or no qualifications

have fewer opportunities to gain a

strong foothold in the job market.

These days it is not sufficient to only

have basic vocational training, you

need to constantly refresh and adapt

your employment skills. In addition,

people with a low level of education

constitute a below-average number of

participants at further education courses.

As a rule, those who do not remain

“on the ball” quickly fall behind.

The pursuit of a clear, lifelong learning

curve is a core element of the

strategies of both the EU and on a

national level. Part of the infrastructure

for lifelong learning is education

counselling, which is increasingly becoming

a focal point for education


Why do people need education counselling?

» Counselling motivates and gives

more room for manoeuvre to the

person being advised

» Counselling helps the individual to

choose their personal educational

and vocational path, using their

needs and options as a template

» Counselling supports a person in

choosing from the numerous and

hard-to-oversee educational qualifications

on offer

» Counselling increases the chances

that a person‘s investment in

education is worthwhile.

Why does a society need education


» Counselling helps increase the

overall participation in (further)

education, in that it markets, motivates

and informs people on

educational offers

» Counselling improves equal opportunities

by supporting people

with poor education and vocational


» Counselling improves integration

in the job market, promoting

the long-term reduction in public


» Education counselling increases

the chances for older job seekers,

counteracting the demographic

change in the shortage of skilled


But how can the offer of counselling

be best taken advantage of by the

average citizen?

Since 2001 LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg

has been preoccupied with

this challenge and developed a model

which has been successfully implemented

in Berlin since 2003. On the

following pages we will explain the

work our learning shops do.

Learning shops in Berlin 1

2. The learning shop

(LernLaden®) concept

A wide range of services places the

client centre-stage!

A learning shop (LernLaden®) is just

like any “normal” business in that

there are criteria which determine its

success or failure:

» It is located in a highly frequented

residential area and, ideally,

shopping area with many pedestrians

» It looks welcoming and open

» It offers services during business

and in-demand opening hours

and, if needed, on Saturdays

» No appointment is necessary

» Counselling takes place without

the need to provide personal details,

i.e. you are not asked for

your name or address

» It is open to all, no customer

group is turned away.

In addition there are two factors which

are all important to the sustained

success of education counselling:

» The counselling has complete

agency neutrality

Reputable, trustworthy counselling

that, in the interest of the client, does

not place individual offers at the forefront,

but rather gives guidance on

all available options. Counselling that

primarily advises clients on its own

education offers have to explicitly

state so and do not offer the impartial

education counselling that they


» Free-of-charge counselling for the


Education counselling, which aims to

advise all people equally, must be

run as a public service and should

not discourage people through fees.

Ideally, counselling should be free for

all who seek it.

2 Learning shops in Berlin

3. The counselling approach

Personal counselling is the focus of

the learning shop (LernLaden®). This

is orientated towards the needs of the

person seeking advice and always

places their current living situation at

the forefront. All forms of counselling

include to a greater or lesser extent a

markedly reflexive element.

The individual counselling at the learning

shops is divided according to

Gieseke‘s method into three ideal

forms, where advice and information

are seen as one entity. 1

1. Informative counselling

During informative counselling the

seeker of advice is in a position to

clearly state the type of counselling

desired and to gather information

from the adviser on the further education

offers available.

1 Gieseke, W./ Opelt, K./ Ried, S: Weiterbildungsberatung,

II. Studienbrief EB2001.

2. überarb. Auflage. Kaiserslautern, 2004

2. Situational counselling

Situational counselling is intended to

ensure that the advice seeker knows

what kind of effect further education

will have on their living situation. The

client describes their current situation

and its connection to their expectations

from the counselling. It is important

to establish whether the person‘s

described situation can be changed

through further education.

3. Biography-based counselling

During biography-based counselling

the client does not give a definite

consultation demand. The advice

seeker hopes that, through education,

they can make positive changes

to their general problems. During this

process personal problems are interwoven

with education and qualification

problems. The counsellor tries to

expose hidden educational interests,

problems with self esteem and unrealistic

hopes and then support the client

in their decision-making process.

People seeking education, who due

to their personal situation require

long-term guidance and exhibit a

comparatively high level of self reflexivity,

can, upon agreement from

the counsellor, receive education


Learning shops in Berlin 3

Alongside these personal consultations

the learning shops also offer

short counselling sessions on the

phone or via email as well as advice

on given topics through online

chat. At the learning shops themselves

there are computers available to

visitors to support in their personal

research and written job applications.

A wide range of courses in, for example,

job seeking, application training

and vocational targets accompany

the core business of counselling.

4. Mobile education


Despite the success of the innovative

counselling at the learning shops

evidenced in the counselling statistics

– the service offering fails to reach

all people in equal measure. In particular

young adults and older people

make it their own decision to come to

a learning shop.

It is these age groups, however, that

display a high demand for counsel-

ling, which cannot be met simply

through stationary offerings.

Apart from the already well-established

learning shops, mobile education

counsellors go to areas where these

young and old target groups are

often located: in youth clubs, cafés,

city centres. In these uncommon settings

for the counsellors the people

being advised are on home soil: Here

the advisor is away from his comfort


The advisers face certain challenges,

but must win the people over to counselling

and establish a level of trust.

This can take time, with the measure

of quality of a “normal” counselling

session not applicable. In particular,

young people going from school to

career require long-term counselling,

but often find themselves with multiple

problems, which cannot be solved

through education counselling alone.

The portfolio of the mobile education

counsellor is in a sense holistic, in as

far as the counsellor is able to carry

out their duties: from the introduction,

via the strengths-and-weaknesses

analysis, to the job-application support

and guidance in the search for

a further education course. This transition

to social work is carried out

smoothly, not without reason have

the counsellors borrowed from streetwork


Reading recommendations:

» Susann Kühnapfel: “Mobile Bildungsberatung

– Ein Handlungsleitfaden

für die Praxis”, LernNetz

Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. (ed.),

Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2008

» Sylvana Dietel: “Mobile Bildungsberatung

und nachhaltige Entwicklungschancen”,

LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg

e.V. (ed.), Karin

Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2009

4 Learning shops in Berlin

5. Quality

The quality of education counselling

is dependant on two factors: the

competence of the counsellor and the

smooth running of the counselling

organisation. The counsellors at the

learning shops have almost without

exception a qualification in their field

from a regional qualification centre

(RQZ) 2 . Here, practical skills as well

as specific counselling-related knowledge

is taught.

In 2007 the three learning shops

as the first education counselling locations

in the country and with the

guidance of the Berlin quality coordination

office (k.o.s) 3 – received

the certificate for learning-orientated

quality testing in further education

(LQW). This ensures that the counselling

process is optimally supported

by functioning general conditions.

Reading recommendations:

» “Kompetenzentwicklung in der

Weiterbildung - Neue Herausforderungen

an Weiterbildungsan-

2 www.bildungsberatung-verbund.de

3 www.kos-qualitaet.de

bieter - eine Dokumentation zur

Veranstaltungsreihe”, zukunft im

zentrum GmbH, 2005

» Thomas Kieneke, Frank Schröder

(ed.): “Qualität in der Bildungsberatung

- Dokumentation zur

Einführung des Lernerorientierten


LQW in Berliner Bildungsberatungsstellen”,

zukunft im zentrum

GmbH, 2008

6. Documentation

Berlin‘s education counselling landscape

has an established online-based

system for documenting counselling.

This is run from an independent location

– the coordination and evaluation

centre for publicly financed

further education counselling centres

in Berlin (KES) 4 . All counselling at

the learning shops is documented according

to numerous criteria – without

the inclusion of personal details such

as name or address. Through the use

of an ID number it is possible to draw

on data for follow-up consultations

and update them.

The system therefore serves two purposes:

it acts as support during the

counselling process, serving as a reference

file, and it is an optimal documentation

system for detailed and

comprehensive analysis of the consultation

data. The data sets allow for

the long-term observation of counselling

relations with the population of

Berlin. By highlighting characteristics

such as ethnic background, gender,

4 www.bildungsberatung-berlin.de

Learning shops in Berlin 5

age and marital status, specific problems

can be solved.

In this way the learning shops have

an evaluation instrument that provides

the optimal guide to the available

offerings. Funded analysis of the

counselling data provides practical

hints over the success of the counselling

on offer.

7. Results of the past years

Results from the past years show

that the total number of visitors to

the three learning shops in Berlin increased

year on year. In 2009 the

learning shops had almost 32,000

visitors. The counselling figures at

the learning shops, at 8,500 per

year, are also high. In total there

have been more than 54,000 consultations

since the conception of the

learning shops to year end 2009.

In the years 2008 and 2009 the

learning shops were mainly visited by

the 25-44 year age group.

Age groups 2008-2009












under 25 years 25-44 years over 45 years

Men and women represent an almost

even spread of those seeking advice.

Further investigation has concluded

that women tended to attend more

follow-up consultations.

Almost one fifth of all consultations

at the learning shops in 2008 and

2009 were with people with migration

backgrounds. The different learning

shops show differing figures with

regards to the number of visitors with

migration backgrounds. These differences

are due to the specific population

groupings of the districts where

the learning shops are located.

The percentage of people seeking

advice with no current employment,

at 85%, is very high. The reason for

this was in most cases a basic lack of

employment as opposed to any other

social or medical reason. Even the

employed seek advice from the learning

shops. These people often find

themselves in unstable employment

or feel threatened by unemployment.

The distribution of people based on

employment status is roughly the

same in all of the learning shops.

6 Learning shops in Berlin



Share of advice seekers with migration

background from the total number of consultations

in the period 2008-2009

81 %

Advice seekers with migration background

Advice seekers without migration background

19 %

Current employment status of the advice

seekers for the period 2008-2009

8. The partners

15 %

85 %



Created through the German Ministry

of Education and Research‘s

programme “Learning Regions – Providing

Support for Networks”, the

Berlin-Brandenburg learning network

(LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg) is a

basic networking project. The registered

association LernNetz Berlin-

Brandenburg acts as a coordination

point for the three learning shops.

It delegates and organises the work

of the learning shops and ensures

that a cohesive counselling system

is carried out and that the corporate

design of the learning shops is

maintained. Furthermore, LernNetz

Berlin-Brandenburg, with the help

of symposiums, publications and the

active participation of other bodies

helps to further the development of

lifelong learning, in particular education


LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg and its

learning shops combined have been

financed since 2006 through the

Berlin Senate for Integration, Labour

and Social Affairs from national and

European Social Funds (ESF). The

learning shops receive co-financing

from their respective JobCenter.

The learning shops are supported by

the following organisations:

LernLaden® Am Ostkreuz:

Deutsche Angestellten Akademie

LernLaden® Neukölln:

gsub-Projektegesellschaft mbH

LernLaden® Pankow:

zukunft im zentrum GmbH

Learning shops in Berlin 7

9. Publications

Gabriele Fellermayer/ Esther Kramer/

Diana Peitel (ed.)

Bildungsberatung gestalten.

Strategien zur Steuerung

Lebenslangen Lernens.

LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.

ISBN 978-3-87956-353-1, approx.

150 pages, Karin Kramer Verlag

Berlin, (set for publication in third

quarter 2010)

LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. (ed.)

Sylvana Dietel

Mobile Bildungsberatung und

nachhaltige Entwicklungschancen

ISBN 978-3-87956-336-4

107 pages, Karin Kramer Verlag

Berlin, 2009

Gabriele Fellermayer/ Esther Kramer


Bildungsberatung und Kompetenzentwicklung

– Beiträge zur aktuellen


LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.

ISBN 978-3-87956-325-8

133 pages, Karin Kramer Verlag

Berlin, 2008

Thomas Kieneke, Frank Schröder (ed.)

Qualität in der Bildungsberatung -

Dokumentation zur Einführung des

Lernerorientierten Qualitätstestierungsverfahrens

LQW in Berliner


ISBN 978-3-9812277-0-3

142 pages, zukunft im zentrum

GmbH, 2008

LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.


Susann Kühnapfel

Mobile Bildungsberatung – Ein

Handlungsleitfaden für die Praxis

ISBN 978-3-87956-328-9

150 pages, Karin Kramer Verlag

Berlin, 2008

Gabriele Fellermayer/ Esther Herbrich


Lebenslanges Lernen für alle -

Herausforderungen an die


LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.

ISBN 978-3-87956-310-4

146 pages, Karin Kramer Verlag

Berlin, 2006

zukunft im zentrum GmbH (ed.)

Kompetenzentwicklung in der

Weiterbildung - Neue Herausforderungen

an Weiterbildungsanbieter

- eine Dokumentation zur


107 pages, zukunft im zentrum

GmbH, 2005

Esther Herbrich/ Jörg Jurkeit (ed.)

Lebenslanges Lernen und Bildungsberatung

zwischen Theorie und


LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.

ISBN 3-87956-293-8

127 pages, Karin Kramer Verlag

Berlin, 2004

8 Learning shops in Berlin

10. Addresses

LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.

Oranienburger Straße 65

10117 Berlin

Tel.: +49 30 / 28 40 92 18

Fax: +49 30 / 28 40 92 10

Project managers:

Gabriele Fellermayer


Esther Kramer


LernLaden® Am Ostkreuz

Neue Bahnhofstraße 8

10245 Berlin

Tel.: +49 30 / 20 07 81 39

Fax: +49 30 / 20 68 72 41

Email: lernladen.ostkreuz@LNBB.de

Contact person: Cornelia Rülke

LernLaden® Neukölln

Karl-Marx-Straße 131

12043 Berlin

Tel.: +49 30 / 68 05 43 77

Fax: +49 30 / 68 08 00 46

Email: lernladen.neukoelln@LNBB.de

Contact person: Arne Koch

LernLaden® Pankow

Stargarder Straße 67

10437 Berlin

Tel.: +49 30 / 27 87 33 120

Fax: +49 30 / 27 87 33 123

Email: lernladen.pankow@LNBB.de

Contact person: Nina-Sybil Klüppel

You can find the learning shops and

LernNetz Berlin-Brandenburg on the

internet under


Learning shops in Berlin 9

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