The "Werkstatt Bremen" municipal enterprise in Bremen is responsible for operating the Martinshof workshops for people with disabilities. 37 such workshops provide work for more than 1.880 people with serious mental, psychological or multiple disabilities who cannot be employed on the first employment market. Support is provided by about 300 instructors, social workers, production planners and administration staff.
Werkstatt Bremen is both: a social services agency and a business enterprise – not just one or the other.
It is one of the biggest such agencies in Germany and distinguished by the fact that around 450 people with psychological disabilities are employed in the workshops, and that about 250 of its employees are assigned to external workgroups in 14 Bremen companies.
So there are external groups providing: car care services for the Bremen police force, tending the training grounds of the Werder Bremen football club, cleaning the changing rooms at the Arcelor steel works, looking after the gardens in Bremen hospitals, working on the packaging plant at Azul Kaffee and other companies. The biggest customer for Martinshof is the Bremen car plant of Mercedes-Benz (Daimler AG), and negotiations have recently been conducted with the Bremen Airbus plant regarding potential orders.
Work of a high quality standard is performed in the Martinshof workshops. Systems for quality management (DIN ISO 9001:2008) and environmental management (DIN ISO 14001:2004) are in place, of course. As a social services agency and major workshop enterprise, "Werkstatt Bremen" is very aware that the city must be very thrifty in its use of tax revenues and that financial constraints must be counterbalanced with enormous dedication, commitment and creativity. Transparency and high-quality services are particularly important, in the view of Günter Oelscher, Director of Werkstatt Bremen.
Martinshof is active both in Bremen and the surrounding areas. Contacts have also been established with the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Austria and Latvia in connection with funding assistance from the European Social Fund. The products made and services provided by the many different workshops are as richly varied as the people who work there. Martinshof was recently appointed official jam supplier to the Bremen state government, for example. Have you tried one of our delicious jams yet?