Kebi and Fr Angelo Stipinovich visiting the German Chancellery in Berlin on 18th February 2014

“Here is scientific proof: Germany benefits from people with a migration background. The German Social Security System makes a profit of several billion Euro each year. The people who claim that the current situation inevitably results in social benefit fraud are therefore clearly wrong.“
A refugee’s journey to Germany
Bürstadt. Michael Held’s recommended reading for December is: “Paradise Denied - How I survived the Journey from Eritrea to Europe” Read more
Round table discussion with employers about work placements for asylum seekers.
Martina Bartsch (lawyer)
Wolfgang Hofmann (recycling & waste disposal services)
Manfred Gärtner (engineering - head of the district craft trades association)
Herr Kolb (Kolb Grünkonzept, horticulture and landscaping)
Herr Weidner (EUG, extrusion and rubber technology)
Annabel Bayatloo (project management, Chamber of Industry and Commerce placement portal)
Alexander Schwarz (Viernheim Business Development Agency)
Herbert Kohl (Pastoral Assistant), Karin Dommberger (secretariat)

Mr Alexander Schwarz, from the Viernheim Business Development Agency, and Herbert Kohl, Pastoral Assistant, invited a selection of employers from Viernheim to a discussion about placing asylum seekers in work placements.
Herbert Kohl greeted the participants, explained the origins of the community's work with asylum seekers and introduced the project "Ich bin ein Viernheimer".
The aim is to provide the asylum seekers with work placements appropriate to their skills and abilities through individual integration questionnaires.
The goal of the meeting was to discuss the project's opportunities and difficulties, and possibilities for implementation.
Through the lively debate it became clear that the invitees, without exception, viewed the idea positively.
Important factors for the success of a work placement from the asylum seekers side are some knowledge of German, physical fitness, health, reliability, punctuality and perseverance. Moreover, especially in sales and technical areas, literacy and numeracy are very important.

Other basic conditions of a work placement were discussed. It was emphasised that the trainees have health insurance through the Bergstraße district and that during the placements they would be covered by the relevant trade association.
The placements are not seen as a route to full time employment but rather as a way for the asylum seekers to gain experience in the German    job market so that they can better position themselves within it. It was also made clear that the placements being discussed would not exceed three months and would be unpaid.
The participants all agreed that thorough preparation of the asylum seekers for the placements is essential.
An introductory course for all trainees explaining German working structure as well as rights and obligations, operational procedures, etc. was suggested. Annette Reinhardt-Klee of Förderband Viernheim e.V. has agreed to organise this course in January 2015, with the agreement of the entire placement group.
Finally, the employers stressed the great opportunities that arise through the integration of asylum seekers in the German job market and encouraged all Viernheim employers to participate in the project. Application for a work placement can be made via the website: