German Companies Working Together to hire more Refugees
Integration of refugees through employmentJune 13th, 2016
German companies such as Coca Cola Deutschland are at the forefront of the integration process offering extra training positions and jobs for refugees. Companies also help re-fugees to pursue higher education. To facilitate the hiring of refugees, businesses in Germany have developed B2B networks to assist each other. But missing qualifications or insufficient language skills remain major hurdles.
Germany's Minister of Economy, Sigmar Gabriel, told reporters in Berlin that he was grateful for the initiative. He said that in addition to all the other efforts Germany is making to integrate refugees, including language courses and housing construction, at the end of the day, integration at the workplace may be the most important aspect. When someone has a job, Gabriel said, that person has the power to influence his or her destiny.
T he Economy Ministry will soon propose a bill in the German parliament about improving the framework for training refugees. As it stands, new arrivals must re-apply for training every year. They may not be older than 21 years old. However, this stands to change and once it does, refugees as old as 25 will be able to apply for training programs without having to resubmit their applications every year. The new law also foresees giving two-year work permits to those who complete their training.
According to a study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and carried out by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, three out out of y four German businesses are assuming some sort of responsibility in the country's efforts to manage its dramatic increase in migrants, "Businesses take on a key role when it comes to giving refugees an outlook on the future," said Birgit Riess, director of the Business in Society program with the Bertelsmann Foundation.
"Industry pitches in when acute help is needed and makes long-term integration possible through work and training," she continued. The study's message is simple: "Refugees are not a burden but rather an opportunity to be welcomed," says its author, Philippe Legrain.
"Our key finding, based on IMF [International Monetary Fund] figures, is that investing 1 euro ($1.13) in welcoming refugees to the EU can yield nearly 2 euros within five years," he told DW.Legrain, an independent London-based writer, commentator, consultant and author of "Refugees Work: A humanitarian investment that yields economic dividends". The book draws a comprehensive international study, which was co-
According to that study, refugees have a lot to contribute as workers, entrepreneurs, innovators, taxpayers, consumers and investors.
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News from Berlin
Sella Conumello, Berlin Global