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4 min reading time
Story 157 – 2017 – People Care

From opportunity to success

Refugees find a home at Wieland

When Wieland offered apprenticeships to refugees for the first time in 2017, this was an experiment without precedent – and with great results: All of them have completed the training with flying colours and have been working as skilled workers at the Vöhringen plant ever since.

When in late summer 2015 hundreds of thousands of people from the Middle East and Africa set out on the long, arduous and often dangerous journey to Germany to escape war and misery in their home countries, a small miracle occurred: Through the combined efforts of government agencies, aid organisations and – above all – the voluntary commitment of many citizens, it became possible to provide the refugees with the most basic necessities: food, clothing and a roof over their heads.

But the long-term challene was only just beginning: the integration of these people. A mammoth project that could only succeed if the refugees were given a perspective - and work. For Wieland, it was therefore a matter of course to participate in a measure that was brought to life by the German Employment Agency, the Chamber of Crafts and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce: the programme Education + Vocational Qualification started at the beginning of 2016. The one-year programme would not only provide refugees with German lessons and familiarise them with the local culture, but would also give them insight into the working world.

This objective was served, among other things, by a four-month module which Wieland offered as part of the training programme and which was designed to prepare for an apprenticeship. For four refugees from Eritrea, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, a new life in many respects began at Wieland's training centre. They spent the second part of the module already in production. And because they met all expectations during this time, afterwards they were given the opportunity to complete apprenticeships as machine and plant operators at Wieland.

Semere G., Bahmann S., Ayad A. and Nasrat M. seized this opportunity ambitiously and with full commitment – all four of them successfully completed their training and have been working as skilled workers at the Vöhringen plant ever since.

Due to the positive experiences, Wieland has meanwhile taken in further refugees as apprentices or graduates of a dual study programme - and will continue to do so – always in the conviction that true participation in a society is ultimately only possible through participation in working life.