Help out of gratitude
Losing home through war or persecution is a traumatic experience. My parents have done so in the middle of the 50 years from Thuringia fled from the injustice of the GDR into the West. My parents, my brothers and I have found a new home in Stuttgart.
We will never forget that. We are still grateful for this today. Besides, I know exactly how it feels to be alien: as an entrepreneur, I do not spend most of my time at home, but on business trips somewhere in the world, so I am the biggest part of my life foreigners.
Just a few years later, my parents were able to lay the foundations for our successful industrialization with the invention of the first industrially produced connection and control cable ÖLFLEX® Company lay. In the former GDR we would never have had this chance.
In recent decades, we have experienced refugee waves in Germany. When the war in the former Yugoslavia robbed many people of their homeland, we have already helped many refugees and given them a job at Lapp and thus a new future, and many so-called Russian Germans have made a start with Lapp.
Show responsibility and offer perspectives
Even now, where thousands of refugees are coming to us each month, we want to take social responsibility and help from conviction. We want to offer refugees a future perspective.
We are certainly aware that the integration of refugees from Syria and Africa will be more difficult for cultural reasons. It is therefore all the more important now to familiarize the refugees with our European values. The learning of the German language and the opportunity to work are the key to integration.
Highly motivated refugees
Already last year, our company gave a young refugee from Eritrea an additional training qualification to become a mechanical and plant engineering company. With great joy I follow how committed the young man learns the German language and how quickly he successfully implements the tasks in the production.
He is highly motivated and sees his future here in Germany. Last year, he played with the international team of footballers and volleyball tournaments in the team of cable workers. I think that's great.
Motivation from good experience
This positive experience has encouraged us to allow nine other recognized refugees the chance to become a machine and plant manager at Lapp. I am deeply convinced that refugees in the community of colleagues can learn not only our language, but also our culture much faster and better.
If we want refugees to integrate well into our society, then companies must take responsibility and give refugees the opportunity to train and work, because work is the key to integration.
Focus on entrepreneurial thinking
Apart from that, we naturally also have an entrepreneurial interest: we also feel the shortage of skilled workers, and in Stuttgart we compete with many large and very well-respected companies for the next generation.
And we have already noted in the past that people who we have given a chance - whether they are refugees or socially disadvantaged youths - were particularly motivated.
No difference in payment
If you do not think very short term, these young people are also entrepreneurial an absolute profit - and this has nothing to do with wage dumping.
No matter where our trainees come from, we do not make any difference in the payment.
How are the refugees selected?
The selection of qualified refugees will take place in the coming weeks in cooperation with the services of the Federal Agency for Labor and the German Schools. German teachers can make suggestions about who would be suitable for a one-week internship at the Lapp Group's training center.
The candidates have to carry out theoretical and practical test assignments there, but also games are planned to test the team's ability, a PC training or assembly of assemblies. We will then decide which three refugees will be able to enter the six-month IHK entry qualification this year.
Qualification of refugees
In the initial qualification, the participants are also to be qualified for the training as machine and system operator. There will be training at Lapp's training center and production. The compulsory materials include, for example, the attendance of the vocational school with remedial teaching in German, community studies, and business and social studies as well as e-learning and team training.
Three months before the end of the IHK entry qualification, it will be decided whether the participants will be able to start normal training from September. 2017 and 2018, three additional refugees have the opportunity to get a training place at Lapp.
How we support refugees
We are aware that the refugees need even more support, especially in everyday problems, than other trainees who have grown up in Germany, or in Central Europe. We at Lapp Kabelwerk have a very dedicated training manager, who takes these additional help with great passion. In this way, Lapp will in any case finance a VVS ticket and, if necessary, also help with the search for accommodation or with authorities.
I sincerely hope that the civil war region will soon be able to be pacified and that the other causes of escape in the countries of origin will also be combated. Some of the refugees will certainly want to stay with us. If they are well integrated, they are also an enrichment for us.
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