School Project Gets Positive Assessment

School Project Gets Positive Assessment

In autumn 2021, we started a new, exciting project. Since then, our apprentice cabinetmakers have been teaching the craft to secondary school students in the region as part of an all-day school programme. The young people learn the basics and build their first small objects, while our apprentices strengthen their social skills. Six months after the start of the project, we could draw the first conclusion together with the participating schools: The project is a complete success - on many different levels.


The participants are enthusiastic. In the past weeks, they have built cutting boards, learned how to make various joints, and most recently applied their growing knowledge to building pencil boxes. 13-year-old Ben is eager to get started. "I find it interesting what we can build here. And the apprentices help us wherever they can," he says.

The project was started specifically with three high schools near the company, one near the airport, and those in Weixdorf and Boxdorf. The interest at the schools was great from the beginning - the requests for participation exceeded the number of places available.

Six months after the start of the project, Karsta Waltz, Head Teacher of the 82nd High School, sees many positive developments among the young people. "The tasks are very demanding. The participants not only develop manual skills, but also new standards and ways of behaving. School alone sometimes can't do that. And it's wonderful that a company opens up in this way and offers school children these opportunities."

Kristina Maitschke, a teacher at Kurfürst-Moritz-Oberschule, observes that her students now have a greater appreciation of the craft and can definitely imagine a future as a joiner. "Through the project, they also see that subjects like maths are important. A joiner has to be able to calculate so that the windows fit later. Some of the participants now also try harder at school.”

With the new project, Deutsche Werkstätten is pursuing several goals. On the one hand, the links to the districts around the company headquarters are to be strengthened. On the other hand, the company also wants to actively recruit young people in the immediate vicinity. The project is already having an effect on both counts: During the application phase for this year's ten apprenticeships for joiners, significantly more of the 180 applications came from the area around Dresden than in previous years.

Deutsche Werkstätten and the head teachers agree that the cooperation, which has started so positively, will be continued. The project will always be scheduled for one school year (approx. September to July).

In the partner schools, the future eighth graders will soon be able to sign up on interest lists for the new school year. Then, from mid-September, two new groups of six young people will be taught in the training workshop at the company headquarters in Hellerau - but then for 90 instead of the previous 60 minutes per lesson. This is because experience has shown that a little more time is needed to first teach the work steps on site and then for everyone to be able to put them into practice at their own pace.

At the next start of the project in September, the new second year apprentices will take over the responsibility of the course from the current second year apprentices. Another aim of Deutsche Werkstätten is to strengthen the apprentices' social skills.

This has worked wonderfully well with the apprentices currently in charge. They developed the concept for the courses completely independently, organised the supervision among themselves, planned the use of materials and carried out the lessons.

Operations Manager and Managing Director of Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau GmbH, Michael Dupke, is impressed by the commitment of the young employees: "They are running the project with a lot of dedication and enthusiasm. Not everything went smoothly. Social conflicts also had to be resolved. But they have faced these challenges and have grown from them just as much. The fact that there are already such strong positive effects among the pupils makes us equally proud," says Dupke.

Together with the schools, follow-up projects are already being prepared for the pupils who took part in the first year of the Deutsche Werkstätten project.

School Project Gets Positive Assessment