News / Economy

Berlin Program Helps Minorities Enter Workforce

Berlin Program Helps Minorities Enter Workforcei
X
June 18, 2013 4:40 PM
German Chancellor Angela Merkel caused a stir three years ago when she declared the country's integration policies a failure. Since that time, though, several new programs have sprung up with the aim of giving immigrants a fair shot at a career in Europe's largest economy. One such program is called Berlin Needs You - and, as Michael Scaturro reports - it has been successful placing minority youths into full-time jobs.
Michael Scaturro
German Chancellor Angela Merkel caused a stir three years ago when she declared the country's integration policies a failure. Since that time, though, several new programs have sprung up with the aim of giving immigrants a fair shot at a career in Europe's largest economy. One such program is called "Berlin Needs You," and it has been successful placing minority youths into full-time jobs for the past four years.
 
Ayse is a Turkish-German Berliner employed by the city. She found her job through Berlin Needs You

At the program's recent annual meeting, counselors said they'd hit a milestone - 25 percent of new hires at city agencies now come from immigrant backgrounds.  

Some of the program's newest participants - like Hussein El Ali and Cihad Yildiz - talked about their experiences. Both just finished internships at the city's water company, and want to transition to full-time apprenticeships soon.

"There was a lot of variety. We didn't get bored. Our team leaders were nice. They were really patient with our questions. We could ask all the questions we needed to," said Yildiz.

"I agree. Our boss had his hands full but he always made time to help us," said El Ali.

One person looking to hire students from migrant backgrounds was Charlotte Kruhoffer, who represents Germany's largest hospital system.

"Apart from myself being of a migration background - I'm from Denmark - the whole hospital subscribes to the idea that Berlin is a very diverse city. We have people from all over the world. And the people we have working in the hospitals have to mirror that," said Kruhoffer.

Ayla Kadi is a consultant to the program. She said Berlin Needs You plays a vital role in helping kids from uneducated families recognize their potential.

"Their parents are not educated, their friends are not educated, they're at school with many other children who are also from families which are not educated. For them, working in industry is completely foreign. It's for them like another country," said Kadi.

The city's police force is also taking part in the program. About one-fifth of this year's list of recruits includes officers from Turkish, Vietnamese and African backgrounds.

Fatih Göre is a Turkish-German policeman from Berlin, and a mentor.

"Migrant youths want to take part. Of course there are people who are skeptical of the police. But many want to join the force, take part in society, and have a stable job," said Göre.

Though Berlin has met its quota, diversity in the public sector doesn't seem to be replicating itself nationally. New data by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that Germany still has the lowest percentage of minority public servants in the 34-member group.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
June 18, 2013 7:52 PM
It sounds great the 25 percent of new city servants are being employed from the youth with foreign background in Berlin. It must be a blessing for immigrants. I suppose Berlin could do this kind of offering probably because its unemployment rate of originated Berliners is enough low.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8957
JPY
USD
120.93
GBP
USD
0.6393
CAD
USD
1.2199
INR
USD
63.470

Rates may not be current.