Creating benefits for society through digitisation

With DIGItalen PEerGruppenberatung, or DIGIPEG for short, the University of Ulm, in cooperation with the Federal Employment Agency, is developing a new, innovative tool to help unemployed people over 50 find work. The project is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics, Labor and Housing. The goal is to roll out digital peer group counseling across Baden-Württemberg by the end of 2020 as a counseling service for the unemployed over 50.

DIGIPEG is based on the principle of peer groups. Peer groups form when people with the same interests, challenges or goals join together. Members of peer groups can benefit from each other's experiences, develop a common motivation, or experience support that is difficult to find otherwise. Peer groups are implemented digitally in DIGIPEG. Individuals can network with each other regardless of location, maintain their anonymity, and have access to the support of their peers at any time.

Cooperation partner: German Federal Employment Agency

Sponsor: Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Housing Baden-Württemberg

Project period: February 2019 - March 2021


Results show that DIGIPEG can significantly facilitate job search. During the Corona crisis, women in particular were shown to be more likely to get jobs if they were part of a digital peer group. Moreover, compared to a control group, participants in DIGIPEG improved significantly in job application activity and job application skills. Notably, digital peer group counseling is shown to be flexible in addressing momentary challenges: Before the Corona restrictions, participants particularly improved their job application writing and interviewing skills; during the Corona restrictions, participants particularly improved their strategic skills. The goal of digital peer group counseling is to create a service that facilitates and accelerates the (re)entry of older unemployed persons into the workforce.

Digital peer group counseling was introduced in 15 agencies and 5 job centers in Baden-Württemberg. The agencies were enabled to continue the digital peer group counseling independently and to include it as a service in their routine. For example, placement specialists from the Federal Employment Agency were trained throughout the state.