Search for companies for vocational training
The search for vocational training places was more difficult than expected. This was due to the following reasons:
- The Bremerhaven region was in a difficult economic situation.
- Many employers were sceptical about the sport ambitions of the participants.
- They saw considerable difficulties in making an education in the interest of the company.
- There were considerable language difficulties during the presentations of the boys in the companies.
- The labour market for the respondent's job as a sport- and fitness expert is divided. On the one hand, this vocational training must be financed by the participants themselves. The participants refused this possibility.
- The companies for the Sport- and Fitness experts were not liquid enough to pay the full salaries of the participants
Finally, after several attempts, the participants Aleix Pujades, Klavs Krastins and Alberto Artiles were accommodated in vocational training places of hotels and restaurants.
Eisbären Bremerhaven committed to educate one Participant of the Project: Arnau Triginer as a Sport- and Fitness expert.
Beginning and further course of vocational training
Arnau´s vocational training was running well from the beginning. He started late at Berufsschule because of the late start from the project. His company was satisfied with his work and attitude. Sometimes it was not easy for Arnau Triginer to adapt to the time schedule of work and practice at the same time but he mastered it.
Alberto Artilles started his education late because he needed a health exam, but the company owner a restaurant near Bremerhaven, was satisfied by the willing and good mood from Alberto.
The Participants Aleix Pujadas and Klavs Krastins were not satisfied with their education situation. They got a car payed by the project to drive to work, school and training. They got also extra money for gas to the training practices. The sport practice location and the vocational training were much closed. But the distance to drive every day to work and school and the money they spend for gas was too high in their mind. Klavs and Aleix were offered an apartment in Cuxhaven to have shorter transport ways, but the participants did not accept the offer. Also, the amount of work was too much to be able to be competitive at basketball practices and games.
Because of this unsatisfactory situation in vocational training Klavs Krastin, Aleix Pujades and Alberto Artilles wanted to change vocational training and made a job presentation at the company Corpu Sana, a sport and Fitness Company in Bremerhaven. The CEO of the company decided after the presentation of the three participants that they could not make a vocational training at this company because of their lack of skills and language.
Klavs and Aleix were not taken over at the end of the probationary period of vocational training in a normal vocational training relationship in the Haven hostel in Cuxhaven.
At the end of January 2017 Alberto Artilles, Aleix Pujades and Klavs Krastins have been dismissed by their employers and took part no longer a vocational training, which was a central part of the project, along with basketball training and competition.
Klavs Krastins was taken over by the company Pier 6 in Bremerhaven for a preparatory internship. In summer 2017, he signed a vocational training contract. Aleix Pujades and Alberto Artilles left the DECA project and went back to Spain.
From the beginning of the arrival 2016 of the DECA Participants their sport career was very successful. The team Rot Weiss Cuxhaven became champion of the Regionalliga Nord of the season 2016/2017 and moved up to the 2nd basketball Bundesliga Germany. The participants of the DECA project played a large part in this successful story.
Three decisive biography-relevant sections, the sporting career, vocational training and cultural reorientation in a neighbouring European country - in another language and cultural area - took place at the same time for the participants of the Sport ERASMUS+ Project DECA. The unexpected changes, challenges and difficulties that occurred during the project terms were risky and difficult for all participants. Conclusions from the DECA Project experiences can be drawn for the success or failing of other dual careers combining vocational training and sporting career.
Discrepancy between training market and participants' wishes
During the discussions with the selected DECA participants, the profession of the sport- and fitness expert emerged as the favourite model of a vocational training for the selected participants. The profession of a sport- and fitness expert represents a high connection to sport. Due to the linguistic and different training requirements that exist between different countries of the EU it was not possible to find vocational training places in the area of Bremerhaven for all DECA participants, that met their requirements. Other vocational training courses offered in Bremerhaven e. g. trade experts or crafts did not meet the career aspirations of the DECA participants. There was a discrepancy between the expectations of the participants in a professional sports career and the importance of vocational training in relation to the sports career.
Employers and the Chamber of Commerce sceptical about the objectives of the DECA project
Another obstacle was the sceptical attitude of the employers with regard to the simultaneous burden of sport training and competition of the one side and vocational training of the other side. It was extremely difficult to find sufficient vocational training positions in northern Germany for the DECA project despite a large number of vacant apprenticeship vocational training positions.
Great linguistic obstacles
In addition, the language barrier combined with the high demands of employers on vocational training performance represented an almost insurmountable hurdle for the young foreign athletes to find an adequate vocational training position.
Vocational training and sports education are two full professions
In terms of time, there were considerable contradictions between the requirements as a top basketball player in a high competitive sport and vocational training. Vocational training and top basketball require a high temporal appropriation. The regular periods of vocational training amount 40 hours a week. In top-class sport, athletes are required up to 30 hours a week through training, physiotherapeutic measures and driving routes. The participants in the project would have to complete a 70 hour week if there were no reductions. In addition, there were language lessons. This is too much for the adolescents DECA participants between the ages of 18 and 21. For this reason, reductions had to be made in vocational education and training in order not to endanger the health of the participants. The DECA project has shown that "normal" vocational training and “normal” sports training on a professional level are not possible. However, these reductions led to performance reductions in sport and problems in vocational training.
Personal requirements for a dual career
In addition, there were personal and family problems with the participants from whom the project management and project partners had not been informed by the participants. In one case, a participant left the project after only one month for personal reasons. The participant Raul de la Cruz from Italy had a legal dispute with the mother of his son. Due to his stay in Germany, he was in danger of losing custody of his child. In order not to lose custody, he returned home to Italy. Personality and openness of all participants are indispensable prerequisites for a successful dual career.