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German businesses boost integration

Jeffrey Michels
May 10, 2016

A think tank study has found that many German companies are rising to the challenges posed by the influx of migrants. Jobs and training are indispensible to the integration effort, the report emphasizes.

Symbolbild Flüchtlinge als Fachkräfte
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Hoppe

Three out of every four German businesses are assuming some sort of responsibility in the country's efforts to manage its dramatic increase in migrants, according to a study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and carried out by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research.

"Businesses take on a key role when it comes to giving refugees an outlook on the future," said Birgit Riess, director of the Business in Society program with the Bertelsmann Foundation.

"Industry pitches in when acute help is needed and makes long-term integration possible through work and training," she continued.

Job market opportunities

The report looked favorably upon the job market prospects that corporations have provided for both trained and untrained migrants alike. One in three businesses has expanded its offerings for job training or consulting, according to the report.

Two-fifths of German companies were said to view the influx of migrants as a positive opportunity for business, making it easier to find "especially motivated and ready-to-learn employees" and generally boosting the "intercultural competence" and creativity of staff members.

The Bertelsmann Foundation is a German economic think tank "based on the conviction that ownership is tied to societal responsibility." The Cologne Institute for Economic Research pledges to support "Germany's socially responsible free market economy."