ARBEIT UND LEBEN: Working toward a democratic culture of citizen participation

We are

a youth and adult political education institution
that is supported by the German Federation of Trade Unions and the German Associations of Adult Education.

It was the common will of both partners to improve the standing of further education for workers and employees in society and at the workplace and to support the democratic reconstruction after 1945.

With its regional organisations in each of the federal states and approximately 150 local and regional institutions organised together under the umbrella of the national committee, ARBEIT UND LEBEN (WORK AND LIFE) is present nationwide and reaches approximately 300,000 youth and adults each year.

The national committee looks after the political interests of advancing further education for ARBEIT UND LEBEN at the national level, is active in politically promoting the interests of its members, and offers its expertise in generating a fresh impetus to political education through innovative projects nationwide.

We want

to contribute to organising WORK and LIFE according to the premises of social justice, equal opportunity, and solidarity with the aim of creating a democratic culture of participation.

Through our educational offers, we want to create opportunities to impart knowledge to people, to promote critical thinking in forming opinions and in decision-making, and to foster social participation.

Didactically and methodologically our work focuses on people’s interests as well as on their everyday life and living conditions. Our educational offers are directed toward the following groups:

  • employees
  • trainees
  • unemployed persons
  • migrants
  • senior citizens
  • youth and young adults
  • works councils and workplace representatives

We also address youth and adults who are considered to be educationally disadvantaged because of their specific living and working conditions. Our courses and activities are open to all interested persons.

We organise and accompany

learning processes through workshops, seminars, international meetings, local initiatives and projects that focus on the following topics:

  • work and education
  • economy and social development
  • migration and integration
  • communication and the media
  • civil society and politics
  • co-determination and participation
  • European development processes
  • globalisation and sustainability

We also develop and offer additional formats and topics in collaboration with groups and cooperation partners.

We improve

our work through a continual process of revision, adaptation, and quality development through activities designed to assure quality management in education.

Gender-mainstreaming is implemented in the planning and realisation and in structuring the work, organisation and personnel development activities.

We are dedicated

to maintaining and expanding political education at the national, federal state and local levels and to ensuring that all people have access to further education. To do so, all employees must have the right to an educational work leave.

We cooperate

  • in the Bundesausschuss Politische Bildung – bap
    (National Committee for Political Education)
  • in the Gemeinsame Initiative der Träger der außerschulischen politischen Jugendbildung – GEMINI
    (Joint Initiative of Providers of Political Education for Youth)
  • in the working groups of the Federal Ministry for
    Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
  • in the Round Table of the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung - bpb
    (National Agency for Civic Education)
  • in the Konzertierte Aktion Weiterbildung – KAW
    (Concerted Action for Further Education)
  • in the Deutsches Institut für Erwachsenenbildung – DIE
    (German Institute for Adult Education)
  • on the editorial board of Praxis Politische BildungPPB (Practice Political Education)
  • in the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Senioren-Organisationen – BAGSO (German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations)
  • in European networks
  • on the advisory board of the Deutsch-Französisches Jugendwerk – DFJW (German-French Youth Office)
  • in the Internationaler Jugendaustausch- und Besucherdienst – IJAB (International Youth Exchange and Visitors’ Service)
  • in the European Association for Adult Education - EAEA