Case Study
Training and employment of of people with mental illness or disability in a supermarket

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  1. Einsortierung|(p520902)Transport|(p520903)Kontrolle|(p520904)Kontrolle|(p520905)Entsorgung|(p520907)Waage|(p520908)Kunde|(p520909)Reinigung
  2. Einsortierung|(p520902)Transport|(p520903)Kontrolle|(p520904)Kontrolle|(p520905)Entsorgung|(p520907)Waage|(p520908)Kunde|(p520909)Reinigung
  3. Einsortierung|(p520902)Transport|(p520903)Kontrolle|(p520904)Kontrolle|(p520905)Entsorgung|(p520907)Waage|(p520908)Kunde|(p520909)Reinigung
  4. Einsortierung|(p520902)Transport|(p520903)Kontrolle|(p520904)Kontrolle|(p520905)Entsorgung|(p520907)Waage|(p520908)Kunde|(p520909)Reinigung
  5. Einsortierung|(p520902)Transport|(p520903)Kontrolle|(p520904)Kontrolle|(p520905)Entsorgung|(p520907)Waage|(p520908)Kunde|(p520909)Reinigung


The company to which u. a. Also a supermarket chain with several shops or Inclklusionsbetrieben heard is a subsidiary of a non-profit workshop group. The aim of the company is to employ people who are disadvantaged because of their disability in the general labor market, to employ them permanently for a standard wage and to enable their participation in society (eg in the area of ​​retail or in supermarkets). The concept of the supermarket chain to close gaps in the supply of people who rely on a food supply that can be reached on foot to meet their daily needs is very successful and is to be spread by new franchise partners or supermarkets. The individual supermarkets offer a wide range. Among them are also meat, sausage, cheese and bakery products, which are offered fresh in the respective departments of the clientele for sale. The proportion of employees with severe disabilities is 50 percent.

Disability and functional restriction of employees:

In the supermarkets people work with a mental illness or disability. People with physical disabilities have limited physical capacity and function of the limbs (arms, legs and motor skills). For this reason, these persons are used only to a limited extent for activities which require frequent manual lifting and carrying of loads. In addition, the persons with a limitation of the walking function, for. Spina bifida (cleft spine / open back) may not be used for work requiring constant standing and walking. The people with a mental illness are mentally only limited resilient, have problems in interpersonal contact, work a little slower and forget some tasks.

Training and job:

Employees generally complete an internship or work trial (from two to eight weeks) in a supermarket before beginning their training or employment. During this time it is determined whether the person is able to perform a corresponding activity in the supermarket and what may need to be technically or organisationally changed so that the person can be hired. After the internship or the work trial, the person then starts with the vocational training or she starts her job as a non-trained person.

1. Vocational training

In the supermarkets, the employees are trained to become sellers or sellers within two years. The training ends with a final exam before the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). The salespersons are, after passing the exam, open to the general job market. But you can also, if you wish, continue to work as a specialist in your former training company. Alternatively, the sellers or sellers can also qualify further and training, in the period of a year, trained as a merchant or merchant in retail. During apprenticeship, as a sales assistant or as a salesperson or as a retail trader, apprentices attend a vocational school two days a week, which forms part of the workshop network. In it, specially prepared from the syllabus curriculum, in coordination with the Chamber of Commerce and the usual vocational school mediated. The apprentices also receive special training in personality development so that all training content in theory and practice can be better absorbed.

2. Unskilled employees

For the new unskilled workers, a basic and advanced course in preparation for the activity and the imparting of key qualifications is offered in the vocational training center of the workshop network. Basic and advanced course each consist of two modules. The duration of the basic course is about four weeks and the duration of the course two weeks. Within the basic course, the basic knowledge of the philosophy of the company, how to deal with the clientele, the goods, the transport of goods and accident prevention is taught. The theoretically acquired knowledge is then deepened in practical exercises on site in a supermarket. In the advanced course, the main subjects of the basic course will be repeated and discussed further. Additional topics, such as coping with conflict situations, should help to promote or expand the social skills of the course participants. Even the unskilled employees can, if interested and suitable, become a salesperson or a salesperson.

Workplace and work duties:

The goods are transported from the goods receiving warehouse to the shelves of the sales room (Fig. 1) by the employees using a transport or pallet truck (Fig. 2). The shelves or shelves for the self-service area must be filled and controlled daily by them (Figures 3 and 4). If necessary, expired spoiled goods are disposed of directly (Fig. 5). In addition, the vending machine must be equipped with empty carts for the empties. The empties of the full wagons are then sorted by the employees in the respective empties boxes. The supermarkets also have a meat, sausage and cheese department. In these departments, customers order the goods in question at a counter from a colleague. These portion, weigh and then pack the goods and hand them over to the customers (Figures 6 and 7). The payment of the goods then takes place at the cash register. The employees at the cash register push the goods over a scanner, inform the client the amount of the amount to be paid and give it back after receiving the money the change together with a receipt. The treadmill and the scanner have to be cleaned from time to time (Fig. 8), so that the barcode can be recorded troublefree by means of a scanner and thus the barcode can be assigned to a product or a price in the EDP. The employees were specially prepared by instruction on the activity at the cash register. For employees with a mental illness, no technical assistance for disability-friendly design had to be used. They are used for work tasks whose procedures are clearly structured. Thus, it does not come to sudden changes, the increase in mental stress, for. B. time and pressure, could cause. Persons with a physical disability (eg spasticity or spina bifida) are specifically used for work that they can do without technical assistance, such as: B. at the cash register. For the employees, who can only be used to a limited extent for the transport of goods, appropriate transport or lifting aids are available.

Working environment:

Most employees use public transport for their commute. The employee with Spina bifida also uses a pedal-driven tricycle for the commute, which she can not cover by public transport, due to her restricted walking function. She uses a forearm crutches inside the supermarket to reach her workplace (cash register).

Assistive devices used:

elbow crutches foot-propelled tricycles and quadricycles hand operated industrial transport equipment hand operated lifting trucks

Keywords and Further Information

Funding and participation:

The establishment of a supermarket and the creation of jobs for people with severe disabilities was promoted by the Integration and Inclusion Office, the respective municipalities and the workshop network.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 25 Mar 2019