Schwarzwald-Baar – Many companies in the region are already committed to the integration of refugees. As the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICC) launched its dedicated project at the end of 2015, 350 companies declared themselves willing in principle to offer internships, training or jobs to refugees. One of the first to do so was Kurt Meder GmbH, the Schwenningen specialist in the manufacture of precision springs, where Syrians were given the opportunity to get a taste of working life in Germany.
Meder's commitment is now showing success: on 1 September 2016, the company took on Khalid Youssef as an apprentice. At the end of 2013, the now 19-year-old Syrian fled his home to come to Germany. He has now proved himself to be a motivated aspirant to a successful working life. The placement is partly a result of the successful collaboration of the CCI with private companies, trade associations and the BBT training center in Tuttlingen within the context of the cooperation project for the targeted integration of refugees into the labor market. On Tuesday, in the presence of the parties involved, Youssef signed his training contract with the Managing Director of Meder, Magnus Mauch.
With the contract signing, Meder GmbH demonstrated a great deal of trust in Youssef's future abilities. The contract that was signed officially is in fact only for an entry-level vocational qualification under the German Vocational Training Act. Ordinarily, this entry-level vocational qualification is a long-term internship up to a maximum of twelve months designed to prepare the candidate for regular training. The remuneration is 216 euros per month, which is reimbursed by the Federal Employment Agency. Meder, however, is recognizing this first year as a full apprentice year for Youssef and raising his remuneration to a normal first-year trainee's salary of 944 euros per month. "If you accept the work, duties and responsibilities of an apprentice at Meder, you will also be paid as an apprentice," said Mauch. After a year, Youssef will transfer into normal vocational training.
Khalid Youssef's training can now lead to a qualification as a machine and plant operator or (with another two years of training) as an industrial mechanic. The good will shown by Meder was earned by Youssef through his great sense of motivation during an internship that started in January – and his intense commitment to learning German.