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7/16/2019 : 3:53 am : +0200

More about Arbeit und Leben Bielefeld e.V.

About us

Arbeit und Leben e.V. Bielefeld is an organisation committed to social and professional further education. We aim at conveying vocational, political and social knowledge to employees in particular in order to improve awareness for joint responsibilities, employee participation and self-administration. Thus we hope to further comprehensive and well-informed co-operation between employees and employers. We are independent, but in our self-perception close to the trade unions and therefore committed to the objectives of the DGB [Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, umbrella organisation of German trade unions] and its single unions.

Arbeit und Leben was established in 1949. Our legal status is the one of an association.  Our present staff consists of 16 persons - 4 persons responsible for administration/accounting and 12 persons being responsible for project management, project development and training. Since its foundation in 1949, Arbeit und Leben Bielefeld e.V. has been active as a non-profit association. Its board is staffed in equal proportion by the City of Bielefeld and the German Trade Union Association for the district of Bielefeld-Gütersloh. In April 2005 Arbeit und Leben finished successfully a certification process in the field of education and training.

The activities of Arbeit und Leben e.V. Bielefeld are geared towards a targeted concentration of expertise which is then made available in various forms, from consultation to day and week seminars to transnational projects lasting several years. Our key approach is the integration of political education and vocational training. Which means that participants do not only get a vocational qualification but social competence too. This enables them to articulate their own interests and to pursue them actively at their place of work as well in their social environment. Thus we develop our concepts in close co-operation with our project partners and our lecturers and instructors. To ensure an effective application of resources Arbeit und Leben has built up two fields of business: education / training and projects.

Transnational co-operation is part of the Arbeit und Leben e.V. Bielefeld tradition. Even before 1989 we were involved in co-operation projects with numerous partners in Western and Eastern Europe. In the wake of the increasing European integration, we also intensified our co-operation across the borders of the Federal Republic of Germany. Due to the experiences gained in transnational projects one of four northrhine-westphalian EU-counselling agencies was established at Arbeit und Leben and publicly funded between 1993 and 2001.

Our main co-operation partners

  • European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
  • Industriegewerkschaft Metall - IGM [Metal Workers' Union]
  • Gewerkschaft der Eisenbahner Deutschlands GdED [Railworkers' Union]
  • ver.di [ United Union of Services, Public Sector Trade Union]
  • Ministry of Economy and Labour of the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia
  • Ministry of Building and Housing and Urban Development of the State of North Rhine Westphalia
  • Ministry of Education, Science and Research of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • District Council for the District of Detmold
  • Vocational Colleges and Vocational Training Centres
  • Volkshochschule der Stadt Bielefeld (communal adult education centre)

Activities of Arbeit und Leben in the field of education and training
Further training seminars which last one or several days for members of works and staff councils focus on industrial constitution, labour and social welfare law with topics such as:

  • principles of the industrial constitution and workers' representation law;
  • labour law;
  • social welfare law;
  • health and safety at work;
  • European labour and social welfare law;
  • rhetoric and negotiation skills
  • EDP for works and staff councils
  • social competence

Educational leave seminars on:

  • structural policy
  • location and globalisation strategies and the ensuing requirements for trade unions in Europe
  • working conditions and worker representation
  • environmental protection and energy policy
  • new media
  • theory and practice to keep up health standards
  • employees of foreign nationality in companies and public administration
  • young employees in companies and public administration

Single seminars and Specialised seminars on topics such as:

  • Industrial Constitution being tested - 25 years Industrial Constitution Act in Germany
  • pension reform act
  • new current jurisdiction
  • questions of current wage policy
  • prospects for ensuring employment in Europe
  • on topical political themes such as

Expert conferences e.g. on structural change and In-house seminars on special company-related topics for works and staff councils.

Projects initiated by Arbeit und Leben

The education and training programme provided by the regional Arbeit- und-Leben- team in Bielefeld is supplemented by several practice-oriented research and development projects. These are based on a common approach: "Integration of political and vocational training", which means that participants do not only get a vocational qualification, but are at the same time able to articulate their own interests and to actively pursue these interests at their place of work as well as in their social environment.
Presently we are running a variety of network projects which are mainly funded jointly by national programs and by he European Social Fund.

The current projects carried out are:

  • Opti:net - Network on further education for small and medium sized enterprises in the region of East-Westphalia-Lippe (ongoing since 2002)
  • KOBRA - gaining competencies for employees of SME by using new forms of learning e.g.
  • e-learning (2005-2006)
  • IBIS - development and implementation of internetbased information and training for members of the staff council (2003-2006)
  • Transnational co-ordination and evaluation of an EQUAL Development Partnership in the Ennepe-Ruhr district (2001-2005)
  • Evaluation of an EQUAL Development Partnership in the region of East-Westphalia-Lippe(2005-2007)
  • East-West Network "Courage and Prevention against Violence" (zug) (2003-2006), funded by the national program XENOS