Educational Integration as the ticket to a self-sufficient life
The guidance of unaccompanied underage refugees represents a particular challenge: In most cases, these young people lack school-leaving qualifications and vocational training, and moreover have insufficient mastery of the German language. A professional and comprehensive guidance programme should therefore equip young refugees with German language skills, school-leaving qualifications, traineeships and jobs, with the ultimate aim of enabling them to earn their own living.
The Hamburg Senate has recognized this and has begun to implement a measure that in this form is the first of its kind: In order to improve the chances of young refugees on the job market and to facilitate their transition to the working world, the City of Hamburg is employing so-called In-Company Integration Monitors (Berufliche Integrationsbegleiter, BiB).
BiBs perform a wide variety of tasks. Their most important function is to guide the young people as mentors in their individual vocational orientation. This means giving them support, recognizing their strengths and developing their interest in specific professional fields. It includes comprehensive counselling and support both at school and in the work place.
Particularly at the start of the internship, the BiB is a mediator between the youngster on the one hand, and the manager of the company, or the section head and colleagues on the other. This removes stumbling blocks from the beginning. In addition, the BiB aids the young migrants to develop their conscious perception of the culture, idiom, processes and social relations specific to the company. A further important aspect of the work of the Integration Monitor is to support the trainees in the acquisition of the German language and thus facilitate successful integration into the training environment and the working world.
Integration work has long been at the centre of the work done by HAYATT. Our Integration Monitors are language and cultural mediators, German teachers and part of a team that also includes vocational school teachers, school principals and the Hamburg Institute for Vocational Education (HIBB). They support the trainees in German language acquisition, in compiling application documents, and in looking for an internship. Moreover, they function as a bridge between refugees and companies, thus ensuring that internships can potentially develop into long-term training and employment perspectives. HAYATT is currently conducting integration support at six Hamburg schools.
Our goal is your integration.
I have experienced at first hand what it means to live as a refugee in a foreign country whose language one does not speak. I know the feeling of helplessness that one is exposed to, and I know how important it is to have someone well-informed at hand. Someone who shows you how to prepare for job interviews and how to behave correctly at work. This is why I started working as an integration monitor: I want other adolescent refugees to have an easier time than I had.
Negin Mani – Integration Monitor at HAYATT