// JobAct Europe

News from Europe:

Accelerating Change for Social Inclusion (ACSI)

Accelerating Change for Social Inclusion (ACSI) is an initiative implemented by UpSocial from Barcelona and funded by Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Obra Social la Caixa, in collaboration with Euro Cities. Its aim is to catalyse the transfer of social innovations among European cities.

UpSocial selected several social innovations from all around the world who deal with the problem of youth unemployment and long-term unemployment. From all the candidates JobAct was also chosen. UpSocial recommended all the approaches to five cities (Barcelona, Rotterdam, Athens, Stockholm, and Lisbon). Stockholm as well as Barcelona was most interested in the implementation of JobAct.

In November 2017 in Barcelona and in February 2018 in Stockholm, Projektfabrik had the chance to present the JobAct approach to local stakeholders.

European Social Innovation Competition 2018

The Competition calls all Europeans to come up with solutions to the problems affecting our society. This year’s competition was launched with an event in Paris on 20 March 2018 with the participation of the Projektfabrik, as speaker in the second panel of the event.


The Erasmus+ Programme is designed to support Programme Countries' efforts to efficiently use the potential of Europe’s talent and social assets in a lifelong learning perspective, linking support to formal, non-formal and informal learning throughout the education, training and youth fields.

The Programme also enhances the opportunities for cooperation and mobility with Partner Countries, notably in the fields of higher education and youth.



A registered association, PROJEKTFABRIK is an independent educational establishment based in Witten, in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia.

Founded by businesswoman Sandra Schürmann, who is now CEO in 2005, PROJEKTFABRIK runs training programmes for the long-term unemployed under the age of 25. In the past two to three years, the organization’s JobAct® program has started to diversify by also including older participants (JobAct® to Connect) as well as migrants (LinguaSzena) in certain projects.

The programmes are based on a training technique first developed by Schürmann and now offered under a scheme called “JobAct®”. The clients of PROJEKTFABRIK are primarily local employment consortia and other training centres. Services provided by PROJEKTFABRIK range from project management to the acquisition of suitable training partners, public relations work, and bringing together local consortia, educational institutions and businesses.

PROJEKTFABRIK currently employs 28 full-time workers and 30 freelancers. There are currently 28 projects underway throughout the whole of Germany. PROJEKTFABRIK has also already expanded its operations to Spain and the Turkey. Further PROJEKTFABRIK operations are in the pipeline in other countries like the Netherlands.

Projektfabrik - Winner of Advocate Europe Challenge with Program JEPP! –JobAct European Partner Program

We convinced the jury of Advocate Europe with the idea to spread the concept of JobAct as a sustainable method against high unemployment throughout Europe. Along with 10 other initiatives, Projektfabrik was chosen among 575 candidates from 39 different countries.

Advocate Europe is an annual idea challenge for innovative European initiatives and projects by MitOst in cooperation with Liquid Democracy, funded by Stiftung Mercator. Advocate Europe is open to civil society who seek financing and support to realize sustainable ideas from fields such as civic education, arts and culture or social innovation.

The Program JEPP! confronts youth unemployment and the support of skills with the innovative use of theatre methods, social work, biographical work and career planning. The goal is to enable and empower individuals to face the complex demands of unemployment crisis in Europe.

If you are interested in working with us please contact Beata Nagy nagy@projektfabrik.org.

JobAct® Europe – a short film

about the educational principle of art linked to JobAct® with interviews
of Sandra Schürmann and others.


A brief history and key achievements

Based in Witten, Germany, PROJEKTFABRIK is a registered association and independent educational organisation. It was founded in 2005 by Sandra Schürmann, who is still CEO. PROJEKTFABRIK started out by conducting training programs for long-term unemployed people below the age of 25. In the recent years, the organization’s JobAct® program has started to diversify by also including older participants, single parents, school drop-out kids as well as migrants in certain projects. Now a certified scheme, “JobAct®” is a special technique first developed by Schürmann and her colleagues. All PROJEKTFABRIK projects are based on it. PROJEKTFABRIK’s client base comprises local employment consortia, German public service JobCenters, and educational institutions. The JobAct® model rests upon a specific local cooperation model, which brings together public and private institutions as well as other stakeholders deemed to be relevant for finding job offers and placement opportunities. JobAct® seeks to empower individuals by using a combination of pedagogical social work and theatre work. The concept is based on a three-block educational method where participants acquire both professional and social skills, underpinned by creative theatre approaches to boost their self-confidence. Resting on theatrical work and personal development, all JobAct® projects are actually taking place on stage. Over the period of five months, participants plan, produce, and stage a play, culminating in an official premiere before the public. After these five initial months, they commence an apprenticeship for another five months.

PROJEKTFABRIK first received broader recognition when it was awarded the first National Award for Youth and Work in 2006. In 2009, founder Sandra Schürmann has won a fellowship from Ashoka, the world’s largest organization for fostering social entrepreneurship. Numerous accolades have followed in the meantime. Along the development of Projektfabrik, different Foundations helped to scale the JobAct program significantly throughout Germany, while maintaining the outstanding level of quality. In 2010 Sandra Schürmann was rewarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon from the German Employment Minister. In 2011 Sandra Schürmann and Simon Rieser became finalist of the Schwab Foundation “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” Award. In 2012 Sandra Schürmann received the national “Vision Award” for her social innovation.

Thanks to this help, JobAct® could be established as a recognized, national brand in the field of youth unemployment throughout Germany. Last school year (2012/2013), JobAct® projects were under way in 42 cities in 12 out of 16 federal states.


Sponsor privateequityfoundation reports about JobAct!


„Have a look at JobAct – The theater project for young adults on their way to job and education”


The PROJEKTFABRIK association first received recognition for its JobAct® programme in 2006, when it was awarded the first National Award For Youth And Work (the “Deutscher Förderpreis Jugend in Arbeit”) by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the Federal Employment Agency (BA).

In 2008, PROJEKTFABRIK directors Sandra Schürmann and Simon Rieser were finalists for the Social Entrepreneur prize awarded by the Schwab Foundation and the Boston Consulting Group.

Since 2009, the Private Equity Foundation has been helping to expand processes and systems to support the expansion of Sandra Schürmann’s training technique through JobAct® projects. Numerous accolades have followed in the meantime such as the grant of the Federal Cross of Merit in 2010.

Ashoka Fellowship

Since 2009, Sandra Schürmann, founder and managing director of PROJEKTFABRIK, has been a member of Ashoka Fellows, the world’s largest organisation for supporting social entrepreneurship.

Key social purpose

The aim of the JobAct®scheme is to offer training to the young long-term unemployed. Based on a ground-breaking method developed by social entrepreneur Sandra Schürmann, JobAct® uses theatrical teaching techniques to prepare young adults for career and life challenges.

Key elements of PROJEKTFABRIKS offer

The projects are targeted specifically at unemployed adults and are based on a three-block educational method of JobAct®. Participants learn professional skills (Block 1) in combination with social skills (Block 2). These are underpinned by individual, creative approaches to boost self-confidence (Block 3). This is achieved by drawing on techniques used in theatrical teaching and personal development.

Most JobAct® training actually takes place on stage. As part of their joint challenge to produce a play, the young adults not only learn practical skills (ranging from stage design to lighting, costume, marketing and PR), they also develop key soft skills. The underlying emphasis, however, is on stimulating participants’ intrinsic creativity, thus empowering them to take control of their lives, their learning and their work.

The projects last ten months and also include training on submitting job applications, plus an industrial placement at a potential future employer or a company offering training.

Support provided by PROJEKTFABRIK gGmbH

The aim of PROJEKTFABRIK is to roll out the scheme JobAct® nationwide and interantional. The clients of PROJEKTFABRIK are primarily local employment consortia and other training centres.

Services provided by PROJEKTFABRIK range from project management to the acquisition of suitable training partners, public relations work, and bringing together local consortia, educational institutions and businesses. Other companies are expressly invited to join the scheme.