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Refugee at work in Germany
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Hoppe

DIHK starts pro-refugee program

December 8, 2015

A leading German trade organization has presented an action program in Berlin aimed at easing refugees' access to vocational training and the jobs market. But it warned the scheme may take years to yield results.


The Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) on Tuesday announced a program to help refugees find jobs in the country.

"It's our intention to help refugees get traineeships and vocational training," DIHK President Eric Schweitzer told reporters in Berlin, warning though that the full integration of refugees into the domestic jobs market could take up to 10 years.

The umbrella organization said it was willing to spend some 20 million euros ($21.7 million) on the scheme, with at least 170 regional supervisors to serve as contacts for local firms willing to help refugees.

Drop in the ocean?

Part of the resources to be allocated is to go into career guidance and job placement initiatives for the rapidly growing number of refugees in Germany.

Schweitzer said he was not yet in a position to say just how many new arrivals would profit from the program. Economic pundits have argued that out of a million refugees expected in Germany throughout 2015, some 200,000 will eventually land proper jobs.

DIHK officials called on lawmakers to do away with some of the bureaucratic hurdles still facing refugees. Among other things, they suggested a specific rule favoring jobseekers from the EU should be done away with completely in light of the new realities on the ground.

hg/cjc (Reuters, DIHK)

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