There is still much to do

From september 2017 to august 2018, 657 refugees registered as unemployed took up employment subject to social security contributions in the agency district of wurzburg. That was twice as many as in the previous twelve months. Sounds good. And yet there is still a lot to do – as the example of hossein sarwari and the company roku in kitzingen shows.

Stefan beil is the head of the employment agency in wurzburg. He is certainly right when he says that a job is not only important to build a livelihood. It is also an important step for social integration. "In order to promote professional integration, it is indispensable to qualify the people who have fled to us within the scope of their possibilities," says beil. "In the end, the region also benefits from this, because workers are urgently needed in almost all sectors."

Claudia roder-dehn and her husband jurgen dehn from the company roku in kitzingen need new workers. And they have had positive experiences with "their" refugee, hossein sarwari. Still, they wouldn’t hire a second employee with a refugee background at the moment. "The bureaucratic hurdles are simply too high," says claudia roder-dehn. The support they provided as employers was incredibly time-consuming and exhausting, he says.

Hossein sarwari came to germany with his wife in 2015 with the great wave of refugees from afghanistan. They landed in kleinlangheim, received recognition as refugees. Hossein sarwari started looking for work, including a three-week internship at the company roku, which manufactures custom covers for car seats in kitzingen and is always looking for experienced tailors. "The prerequisites for hiring were there," remembers claudia roder-dehn. What was missing were the language skills. Settling into a completely different culture with completely different challenges was difficult.

Hossein sarwari wanted and still wants to improve his german skills. But he has to work during the day – and in the evenings there are hardly any courses offered. Furthermore: how should he get from kleinlangheim to a german course in kitzingen or even in wurzburg? With public transportation? A thing of impossibility. He now lives in kitzingen with his wife, and his employers helped him find a place to live. "But even now it’s almost impossible to find a german course for him," jurgen dehn is annoyed.

"The accompanying circumstances are simply too complicated." claudia roder-dehn, on integration of refugees

Without the help of his employers, hossein sarwari would have run into some problems. Example: his wife went to school in wurzburg for one and a half years, then took on a 450-euro job in a market garden. Three months of planting and harvesting. After that, she forgot to register as a jobseeker again, only realizing that something was wrong when the health insurance company sent a notice that 900 euros had to be paid in arrears. "The cash office was extremely accommodating," claudia roder-dehn is happy to report. She had taken care of the correspondence.

"Everything is so complicated here," she regrets, describing the bureaucratic effort she had to go through to hire her employee from afghanistan as "extreme." various offices were involved, some of which would contradict the information requested. "How is a refugee supposed to see through that??" asks roder-dehn. "These forms are already hard for us to understand."Her conclusion from the last few years: she will not hire a refugee again. "The accompanying circumstances are simply too complicated."

Other companies are likely to feel the same way as roku. According to johannes noack, the company noack gmbh in iphofen has had good experiences in recent years. "Once the language barrier has been overcome, there are no major problems," reports the managing director’s son. The company has trained four to five refugees. They came without training and are now employed in various fields. "We would hire people with a refugee background again," johannes noack assures us.

This willingness on the part of many employers is also reflected in the balance sheet of the employment agency in kitzingen. From october 2017 to september 2018, a total of 197 refugees registered as unemployed left the district of kitzingen for work. Of these, 175 have taken up employment subject to social insurance contributions. In the previous year there were 102.

The employment enrollments were in a wide range of economic sectors. Most of them found work in a temporary employment agency, i.E. In temporary work. (38 percent). 14 percent were employed in the manufacturing industry, and eleven percent in trade or the maintenance and repair of motor vehicles. A number of refugees were also hired in the transport and warehousing and hospitality sectors (ten percent each).

Nevertheless, there is still plenty to do. "For many refugees, language deficits are the biggest obstacle," says stefan beil. "This is where we need to apply the lever in order to successively achieve a better understanding." this must be accompanied by vocational qualification. It is obvious that this requires a long breath on the part of all those involved. However, not qualifying the refugees would mean losing employment opportunities in the long term.

People and numbers

Statistics: from november 2017 to october 2018, an average of 123 people with a refugee background were registered as unemployed in kitzingen. Of these people, 78 were under 35 years of age. 93 of them were men and 30 women. 44 did not have a high school diploma, 32 had a high school diploma or intermediate school leaving certificate, 27 had a technical college or university entrance qualification. For 20, the deal was still open.

Professional goals: 100 aspired to a helper’s job, twelve to a skilled worker’s job, two as a specialist or expert. For nine, the requirement level had not yet been clarified. From august 2017 to july 2018, 287 refugees took part in qualification and further training courses. In the previous year, the figure was 397.