40 Years of Training and Research related to the World of Work

On 27 Juli 1971, the newly founded University of Bremen and the Bremen Chamber of Labour agreed to collaboratively support workers’ further education and continuing training. Underpinned by a cooperation agreement (Kooperationsvertrag [PDF] (241 KB)), the aim was to initiate and foster research and studies related to the world of work, ensure the transfer of knowledge and provide education courses that have workers as a target group. The Centre for Labour and Political Education (zap) and the Institut für Arbeit und Wirtschaft (IAW) continue to be the two organisations that implement this cooperation strategy.

Initially, the organisation and programme of the Centre were designed as a four-year pilot project. After a comprehensive evaluation, it was agreed to establish zap as a constitutive pillar of the cooperation agreement, thereby transforming it into a university body dedicated to civic education and continuing training. The two-year further education course targeted at workers to obtain a subject-linked university entrance qualification constitutes a key element of the programme.

Since its foundation, the Centre’s research priorities and course programme continually have been developed further. The applied research approach makes a major contribution to successfully transferring knowledge from the academic world to society, informing unions, companies, vocational schools and other social and educational actors.