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Integration into work is continuing, just differently

Screen Reader Text رجل وامرأة يتحدثان، حيث ينظر الرجل إلى الكاميرا وهو يرتدي بدلة ورابطة عنق، بينما تظهر المرأة فقط في المقدمة وبشكلٍ غير واضح.
Marco Lietz, head of international projects at Bildungswerk der Baden-Württembergischen Wirtschaft e.V., the education and training organisation of employers in Baden-Württemberg

Integration into work is continuing, just differently

Training courses can't currently be held, departure is impossible – and labour markets in the countries of origin are facing pressure: the Newplacement International (NPI) project has therefore reinvented itself in the corona crisis. NPI is an initiative of BBQ Bildung und Berufliche Qualifizierung, a subsidiary of Bildungswerk der Baden-Württembergischen Wirtschaft. Four questions and answers on the current situation.

How does Newplacement International normally operate?
Newplacement International (NPI) is partnered with "Perspektive Heimat" and helps refugees and migrants to plan their return to their country of origin. "One decisive factor is the prospect of work", says Marco Lietz. "Our approach is to ensure that participants leaving Germany know what comes next. They should ideally be able to start a trial job in their own country." Lietz knows however that return is not always as smooth as expected in many cases. So NPI also collaborates with GIZ Migration Advice Centres in the countries of origin to provide returnees with assistance.

How has your advice changed during the corona crisis?
"Qualifications and job placement remain in demand," says Marco Lietz. After a brief decline at the start of the corona pandemic, the number of those seeking advice is noticeably increasing again. Yet we at Bildungswerk der Baden-Württembergischen Wirtschaft are naturally also aware that the economies and thus also the labour markets in the countries of origin are coming under pressure. "We usually have a lot of contacts with companies in the catering sector – this is useful because the returnees have German language skills and can communicate with German guests in hotels, for example". But unfortunately, Lietz tells us, there is no point in talking about jobs in gastronomy in the near future.

What are the alternatives?
"Now we have to try even harder than before to reach out to companies from other sectors." Lietz sees opportunities in sectors like food logistics, health and digital media. So Bildungswerk der Baden-Württembergischen Wirtschaft has developed a one-month course on digital literacy, for example – and is considering new formats: "We could in principle also offer this course in Mandinka, one of the most widely spoken languages in Gambia. A trainer in Gambia would then deliver the course as a webinar. We wouldn't have even contemplated this a few months ago."

Is the corona crisis providing impetus to digital consulting?
"Qualification and job placement are currently undergoing radical change," says Lietz. "They would have changed anyway given Industry 4.0. Now it's just happening faster." Bildungswerk began developing an e-learning concept two years ago. Lietz admits he was initially sceptical about this approach. "I thought it couldn't replace personal contact." It is indeed still advantageous to personally meet the returnee at least once. There is however a lot that can then be digitally discussed. It is also relevant to consider whether physical attendance at training courses is required. "Not everything can be done digitally when it comes to gastronomy, for example. Job application training, in contrast, also works very well online." Ecological reasons for digital learning speak for themselves. "And you can reach a lot more people." Lietz's conclusion: "Integration into work is continuing, just differently.“

As of: 05/2020

Now we have to strive even harder than before to reach out to companies from other sectors like food logistics, health and digital media.
Marco Lietz

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