Born in 1952, Achim Meyer auf der Heyde studied economics, political science and psychology in Bonn, Freiburg and Berlin, completing his studies with Master's degrees in economics, business administration and business teaching (Diplom-Volkswirt, Diplom-Kaufmann and Diplom-Handelslehrer respectively).
He started his career in 1980 as the managing director of the Ausbildungswerk Kreuzberg, a project that supports disadvantaged young people. In 1985, he became managing director of the BBJ company group, a consultancy for youth, social welfare, labour market and educational policy that works on behalf of the EU, German national and federal state governments, local authorities and voluntary organisations.
In 1995, he became Senate Director at the school and vocational training authority in Hamburg where he was responsible for extra-curricular vocational training, vocational schools, general, vocational and political continuing education, career centres for young people and the promotion of career advancement.
He has presided over the Bund-Länder Commission’s vocational and further training working group as well as the Federal Institute for Vocational and Educational Training’s sub-committee on continuing education. He has also been a member of the further and continuing education committee of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, the educational planning committee of the Bund-Länder Comission, the main committee of the Federal Institute for Vocational and Educational Training as well as the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth’s expert commission on " the performing of social welfare tasks by non-profit organisations".
He is currently a member of the Higher Education Council at Bergische Universität Wuppertal and on the management board of the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband welfare organisation.