Lower Saxony Integration Prize 2017
The ZUKUNFTINC. project ‘Fit for Training’ is among the prize winners of the Lower Saxony Integration Prize 2017
The Lower Saxony Integration Prize was being awarded for the eighth time, under the slogan ‘Arrived: Training in Lower Saxony’. There are altogether four prize winners and a special prize. The competition is aimed at initiatives, clubs or institutions, companies, operations and chambers of commerce which bring refugees and other immigrants into training, thus contributing to their integration into the jobs market.
On Tuesday, 29th August, the prize winners were honoured at a ceremony in the Alten Rathaus in Hannover. Prime Minister Stephan Weil, and Doris Schröder-Köpf, State Minister for Migration and Power-sharing for the State of Lower Saxony, presented the prize. The laudatory speech was given by Nariman Reinke, Member of the Commission for Migration and Power-sharing in the Parliament of Lower Saxony and Chairman of the Deutscher Soldat (German Soldier) Association. State officials and a jury consisting of artist Sabina Kaluza, Dr Volker Müller (Employers’ Associations of Lower Saxony), Nariman Reinke, Hartmut Tölle (DGB Lower Saxony) und Bishop Norbert Trelle made the selection this year from over 90 applications submitted.
The prize winners who were selected from these committed companies, initiatives and clubs are outstanding, and at the same time represent other engaged organisations. The jury decided on a total of four companies and, as has already been done in the past, awarded a special prize this year too.
What does ‘Fit for Training’ do"?
The companies of Bahlsen, Hüttenes Albertus, JÄGER Gummi und Kunststoff/Artemis, KIND, VSM AG, Sennheiser Electronic and the WAGNER Group are engaged in the project, the aim of which is to bring refugees into technical and commercial training. The market leaders are supported in this by project partners Bildungswerk der Niedersächsischen Wirtschaft (BNW) and the Hannover Region Economic and Employment Development Agency.
‘Fit for Training’ creates long-term professional perspectives for disadvantaged young people. Sufficient knowledge of the German language is absolutely necessary for every training profession. Intensive instruction in German and intercultural training have therefor been added with the acceptance of refugees into the ‘Fit for Training’ project circle of participants. So that young people are ‘fit for training’, a practical course must be undertaken prior to professional training. Participants are accompanied by social teachers from the BNW over the whole period.
Why does ZUKUNFTINC support refugees?
‘As well as social responsibility, to which all ZUKUNFTINC. members subscribe, the number of applicants goes back to training places’, says Fritz Kelle, Chairman of the ZUKUNFTINC. Association and Personnel Manager VSM AG. In the long term the potential of the refugees could also counteract the shortage of skilled workers. Project partners are experiencing a learning curve in all directions. ‘We’re learning on this every day, and we’re freely available for an exchange of information with any company which would like to support refugees with professional training,’ says Alexander Walter, HR Manager, JÄGER. The professional integration of young refugees is a challenge.
Why do project partners BNW und Region Hannover support ‘Fit for Training’?
‘Against the background of intercultural differences, social pedagogic accompaniment of the trainees has turned out to be of extraordinary importance. With the aid of targeted support, they can settle in well and quickly into the structure of the businesses and their respective company culture’, says Claudia Köhler, BNW project leader.
‘The high motivation of the participants makes me just as optimistic as does the openness and readiness of many businesses to offer these young people a professional perspective‘, says Ulf-Birger Franz, Departmental Head of Region Hannover.
What does the alliance ‘Lower Saxony lends a hand’ do?
In Lower Saxony a great many people have committed themselves to enabling the integration of refugees. As well as companies, there are numerous organisations, associations, clubs and supporters’ groups who are ‘lending a hand’ in Lower Saxony.
The Lower Saxony State Chancellery is introducing all the prize winners in short videos. At this point come the pictures.https://www.fluechtlinge.niedersachsen.de/startseite/initiativen_integration/niedersaechsischer-integrationspreis-2017-157103.html
Text: Stefanie Gaffron, Pictures: Heidrich/Mehlbauer/Stein/von Ditfurth