Years ago, when my frau (German of course) and I returned to Germany (1990s)....she wanted to get back into the work atmosphere, and went to the local job center in Trier.
For those who aren't families with the job center....it's a gov't run system by the Germans....which has people that are helping you find work, or helping to get you trained.
Now, in a pub of ten Germans....if you bring up job centers in general.....there's two general opinions.
First, there's the one with two Germans who tell you that the job center does good work and does try to find employment for people, and that they have qualified personnel running the program.
Then, you have the other eight Germans from the pub who will tell you that job centers are a marginalize dinosaur from the 1960s....with personnel unqualified for the work.....and have no real capability of helping you find work.
If I'm hinting that most Germans don't give much credit to the government agency.....well....yeah....that's generally what Germans will say. I think when computers came along in the 1990s....with companies easily able to advertise and email got resumes or CV's into the hands of employers.....a lot of the necessity for the job center business disappeared.
So, in my wife's case.....they assigned her to a training program. It was a fake shoe company atmosphere. She walked in and various orders were being delivered throughout the day....generated by some computer.....people were processing these. Shipment paperwork was generated...problems were thrown into the mix.....and profits and losses were part of the weekly routine.
My general opinion at the time was that it was more of a program to get people reassured or accepting the idea of working versus welfare payments. Call it a confidence-builder or 'forced-participation'.....it doesn't matter.
My wife spent roughly six months with the fake company, before finding work on her own (without any real help from the Trier job center).
When you look around Germany today....on the welfare rolls and long-term unemployment listings....there are literally hundreds of thousands of people sitting there and drawing a check from the government. Some have no job training in their entire life, and at age forty....via some divorce....they've gotten a four-star pit to fall into and only welfare to cover their needs. I had a neighbor from the K-town area.....who drew welfare in some fashion for an entire decade....mostly because he preferred sitting at home....smoking weed a fair bit.....and no real worry from the employment center about being forced into something. Eventually, they did force that former neighbor into a program and he had to get a job.
When society offers to cover your unfortunate stumbles and carry you a while.....it also has to assume some responsibility over your work ethic and handcuff you to some effort getting you back into the work-force. It seems stupid that you have to carry these people but the enticement to just sit at home and draw checks is too much for some people. It's like putting two glasses in front of folks...one of beer and one of water, and the vast majority will drink the beer. After a while, since you run the glass control business.....you realize that you need to force people to drink the water first, and then they can have the beer.