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Internship at Daimler builds bridge into German job market for refugees
- Successful placement of the interns in industry
- More bridge internships start throughout Germany in cooperation with the German Federal Employment Agency and job centers
- Some 300 refugees and asylum seekers in internships and entry-level training in the first six months alone
- Wilfried Porth, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Human Resources and Director of Labor Relations, IT & Mercedes-Benz Vans: "We are highly satisfied with the result of the first bridge internship. We achieved our goal of paving people's way into the labor market for almost all participants."
- Michael Brecht, Chairman of the General Works Council and Member of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG: "I am convinced that integration through encounter will succeed. People who work together talk to each other, get to know each other and learn a lot about the way of life of the others."
Stuttgart – The bridge internship at Daimler for refugees and asylum seekers is a success. Nearly all 40 participants of the first program will receive offers from temporary employment agencies for continued employment in industry or in a particular trade or craft or will get a vocational training opportunity at Daimler. "We are highly satisfied with the result of the first bridge internship. We achieved our goal of paving people's way into the labor market for almost all participants. This success reaffirms our decision to offer more bridge internships. To Daimler, taking social responsibility and supporting the social and professional integration of refugees is a given,“ says Wilfried Porth, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Human Resources and Director of Labor Relations, IT & Mercedes-Benz Vans.
More bridge internships will start at Daimler locations throughout Germany in the coming weeks and months. In Rastatt, the internship for 20 interns began on March 1. Some 300 refugees will be admitted to a bridge internship in technical functions at Daimler in the first half of 2016. Furthermore, bridge internships for commercial functions are also being coordinated. More bridge internships are being planned for the second half of the year.
Daimler also provides 50 additional apprenticeships for refugees. Plants, branches and the group subsidiary EvoBus started offering internships, entry-level training and apprenticeships for young refugees some time ago. Nearly 50 participants are or have already been part of it. The various programs for the professional integration and training of refugees go above and beyond the need and the standard offers of the company and therefore do not deprive other applicants of the chance to work or train at Daimler. Michael Brecht, Chairman of the General Works Council and Member of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG, says: "I am convinced that integration through encounter will succeed. People who work together talk to each other, get to know each other and learn a lot about the way of life of the others. We support the professional integration of refugees and our bridge internships at all locations and we are delighted by the strong commitment of the workforce to help the people.“
Positive verdict on the first bridge internship
Daimler initiated the first bridge internship for refugees and asylum seekers for 40 participants from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Gambia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria in Stuttgart in November 2015. More than 30 of the participants will now get offers from temporary employment agencies for continued employment in industry or in a particular trade or craft businesses at the end of the program. Two bridge interns are supposed to start vocational training at Daimler in autumn. Until then, they are employed with the company through a prequalification measure. Nearly all participants' command of German is good enough at the end of the internship to be placed directly with other employers. The human resources staff of Daimler continues to maintain close contact with the few participants not yet placed and will arrange job interviews for them at a later time.
Daimler is working closely with the German Federal Employment Agency and the relevant job centers on the bridge internships. The program runs for 14 weeks and consists of a practical part in production operations and an accompanying German class, where the participants also practice job interviews and prepare job applications. The first bridge internship has now ended at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant. During a closing ceremony, the participants received an internship report card and a certificate for the accompanying German class. Temporary employment agencies were also on hand at the closing ceremony to talk to the bridge interns about job offers. The German Federal Employment Agency was on site as well with information and job offers. "The experiences show that asylum seekers have the potential to become the skilled employees of beyond tomorrow. An early and well-guided integration of refugees into training and work is the key for the social integration. The fact that Daimler faces its social responsibility and with the bridge internship plays a role in the integration of asylum seekers is a clear and important sign. As the German Federal Employment Agency, we are delighted that Daimler AG has relied on the expertise of the German Federal Employment Agency in the challenging participant selection and is very happy with the result," says Raimund Becker, Member of the Board of Management of the German Federal Employment Agency.
Wide-ranging commitment to refugee aid
Daimler has been providing active assistance for refugees for some time. Since 2013, the company has worked with “Wings of Help” and to date has sent four convoys with relief supplies to Syrian refugee camps in Turkey and two humanitarian flights to northern Iraq. Numerous fundraising activities of the company and the employees support refugee aid projects throughout Germany. Daimler is active in practically every country in the world. An international perspective and respectful cooperation between various nationalities have been part of the daily routine at the company for decades. Employees of about 140 different nationalities work at Daimler in Germany alone.