Germany has become the most important destination country for young refugees in Europe (Destatis, 2021). Vocational education and training can make an important contribution to overcome educational barriers and gain participation in society (Will & Hohmut, 2020). Since 2015, rural regions have faced new challenges in establishing effective support systems for young apprentices with forced migration experience (Ohliger et al., 2017). The participatory LaeneAs research project seeks to identify educational barriers and to promote successful educational pathways for young refugees in vocational training. In four distinct rural areas in Germany, stakeholders in formal, non-formal, and informal learning environments and young refugees will be brought together in real-world laboratories. The authors aim to open space for a co-constructive knowledge production process between scientific and political stakeholders, educational practitioners, and refugee youth. Real-world laboratories are a socio-spatial methodology that combines research and a sustainable capacity building process. The lifeworld expertise will be used for a contextual condition analysis of structural, societal, and individual barriers to education as well as for practice transfer. Building on the discussion of the current state of research and the identification of significant gaps in the practice and research landscape, this essay will focus on the critical discussion of the methodological implementation of the study.

DOI: 10.1108/S1479-36792022000042A002
ISSN: 1479-3679