Promoting Refugee Integration
Siemens develops internship programs to integrate refugeesMarch 29th, 2018
Siemens AG is a global technology powerhouse company with more than 170 years of history. The company has branches all over the world with more than 377,000 employees. By being such an international enterprise, the company takes seriously its corporate social responsibility. In Germany, they developed a project that helps refugees to integrate into the society.
Siemens offers paid internship placements of three-months for those refugees who have applied for asylum in Germany. They recognize that integration into a new culture is not an easy task. Siemens hope that this program will help the refugees to gain experience by improving language skills, at the same time, the program will develop their talents and allow them to build friends in the new country.
At the beginning of the internship, a mentor is assigned to every intern as a part of a “buddy system”. The intention behind this action is to give someone to the refugee to talk and to guide him throughout the program. The Internship of Refugees Program is offered in 23 locations in Germany.
Siemens’ commitment to the refugees goes beyond the mere internship program. The company also transforms unused office space into accommodation for families to live in. In addition, they created pre-classes to younger refugees in order to prepare them for the apprenticeship programs at Siemens. There is also the promotion of the practice of sports among employees. In their view, these activities are capable of change peoples’ perception and promote integration.
The majority of the refugee interns came from Syria and Eritrea and they have demonstrated to have good skills in engineering and IT. Managers from Siemens are very content with the performance of the refugees. They believe that having refugees in the company is a good way to remove prejudice and to open minds to the situation of multicultural societies.