Initiatives for refugees are sprouting up almost every day in Germany. Clothing for refugees, cooking for refugees, books for refugees, housing for refugees. If you are in Berlin in your circle of acquaintances, will hardly find someone who does not engage in one way or another.
Commitment that impresses
Some of it is elementary, some seems trivial, but we find every commitment impressive. It has made us proud to see how large parts of the society deal with the challenge of the refugee flows and it has encouraged us as a team to contribute something as well. For us as a career platform, the answer was of course close, because jobs are one of the greatest long-term issues in refugee psychology.
Currently, the situation is difficult: Most new arrivals may initially perform any meaningful activity. They are damned to do nothing. Until the asylum status is clarified - and this may take a long time - much is forbidden. This is not only a waste of time, but also extremely stressful for these people. Even with otherwise socially and economically secure citizens, unemployment often leads to stress, illness or even depression. For people who have had to leave everything behind, who have taken on an excessively exhausting and dangerous journey and are now faced with the task of building a completely new existence, that is even more potent.
Politics & bureaucracy are too slow
Politics and bureaucracy are acting too slowly here, even though the Asylum Acceleration Act of October is already a welcome approach. On the legal situation, we can not influence, but on the job placement between Company and refugees in themselves. Therefore, in September, we set up a German version of our job platform, especially for the placement of refugees.
The offer and functionality are basically the same ones that we already offer successfully in Asia and Africa. The decisive advantage, however, is that the focus is explicitly placed on non-native speakers and refugees. This creates a transparency that is not yet available in other job placements - and it avoids unnecessary frustration in an already difficult situation.
If the knowledge of German is not enough
If, for example, all requirements are met, only German skills are insufficient, it is necessary to resort to counseling services that help companies and refugees find the right German course.
However, the fact that the German courses are not sufficient is less likely with us, as companies from the past only offer jobs that are also interesting for refugees. At the moment, everything from the trainee to the manager is represented, since September almost 500 jobs have been hired.
Our experience from the "emerging markets" helps us to do this, and here too there are particular difficulties - from network coverage to educational standards. So we know a lot about job placement challenges. Legally, of course, the situation is now a lot more complex. You have to trade perfection for pragmatism, that's common in the startup world, and it's more true than ever. Where there are gaps, somebody else can help.
Cooperation with Kiron Higher Education
That's why we are now cooperating with Kiron Open Higher Education. This initiative has quickly established a comprehensive contact network among the refugees - something we do not have. Kiron offers a free online study course and subsequent placement with a partner university.
This approach allows applicants to start their studies before they have any papers and proofs. So it is a very similar problem to the jobs: to give the refugees the opportunity to resume a meaningful employment. It is very important that the many individual initiatives now help each other. Just so we move something.
Opportunities for corporations & SMEs
We have the competences in Germany, we have the infrastructure and we have the economic power. And if we are honest, we also have the need. It is an enormous challenge for IT specialists, and it is a great fit for the skills of many newcomers. Helping now is not just a question of morality, it is also a very real opportunity for business and society.
This is also the case for more and more companies, Deutsche Telekom AG has already successfully employed refugees and is also represented on everjobs.de with 100 jobs. We are pleased to see that, in addition to the large corporations, more and more medium-sized companies are also seeing this.
Do not repeat old errors
This division is often forgotten, although it plays a not insignificant role for the German economy. Here we want to convince and bring refugees together with companies, because here we see the greatest potential. In our country is currently a huge pool of willing, motivated people, many with good education and all with the firm intention to build a new life here.
We must not repeat the mistakes of the last migration wave. This time we have to work together, we have to be more open and we have to integrate these people better. A crucial point is education and work. What started as a catastrophe for these people can end up being extremely positive for everyone. If we tackle the issue constructively, we have no refugee problem, then we have a refugee chance.
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