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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

make-work schemes for the long-term unemployed

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
Germany has a long tradition of publicly financed job creation schemes, dating back to the 1920°s and again in high demand in the aftermath of the German unification. ćInnovationĆ in this case is the repeated amendment of the instruments, the abolition of certain instruments, and the recent drastic decline of such programmes. We see this decline as a Čnegative innovation°, as a retrenchment of policies that would still be / needed.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • employment
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Ongoing and frequently changing policy; not starting or ending year applicable. The last institutional change took effect in April 2012, when the number of applicable instruments was reduced from four to two.
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: gradual and recurring
  • Budgets: 420 million Euros were spent in 2013
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: On average, there were 150,000 participants in 2013. As recently as 2010, there were more than 350,000 participants. This compares to an average of 2.9 million unemployed in 2013, 1 million of these long-term unemployed according to the national administrative count
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
In periods of high unemployment, such schemes were used to reduce unemployment and to bring additional / income into depressed regions. In periods of low unemployment, these schemes serve as instruments for activation, social inclusion and gradual preparation for the general labour market.
Type of innovation
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
    Intended target group
    Long-term unemployed people with low prospects of entering the regular labour market
    Working age population
    • educational level (low/medium/high) (low)
    • income level (low/medium/high) (low)
    • main source of income: social protection (please specify; e.g. unemployment benefits/disability benefits/social assistance/other benefits) (social assistance)
    Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
    • making/implementation and/or evaluation-agency or national social insurance body
    • making/implementation and/or evaluation-municipal government
    • making/implementation and/or evaluation-private not-for-profit organisations (e.g. Third Sector organisation or NGO) (The non-profit sector provides the subsidized jobs)
    Intended output
      Intended and unintended outcomes
      In 2012, only about 10% of the participants in make-work schemes moved on to jobs in the / regular labour market (figures for 2013 / not yet available)
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