A globally operating chemical company fosters the recognition of professional qualifications in a cross-border training cooperation with Spain to secure the demand for skilled personnel.
Convincing approaches how to improve the recognition process and anchor it in the company practice are always highly demanded. Hence, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research asked for best practice projects as well as for good ideas as part of the “We for Recognition” company award – and there are good ideas!
The company wants to combine its economic success with social responsibility. Securing skilled working force is a challenge for the corporate group employing about 114,000 employees. In 2013, the listed chemical company stroke an unusual and successful path to meet these demands: In alliance with the Spanish vocational school Comte de Rius and a Spanish subsidiary, the company introduced a training cooperation with 15 to 20 participants annually. The project was supported by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Pfalz and the Foreign Skills Approval department of the National Competence Centre of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce.
THIS IS A QUALIFIED IMMIGRATION PROGRAM. AN ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF THE COOPERATION IS THE COMBINATION OF THEORY AND PRACTICE AND SHOULD RESULT IN THE RECOGNITION OF PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS ACQUIRED ABROAD.Speaker of the chemical company
With an average rate of 40.5% – and even about 60% in some regions – Spain is second in youth unemployment in the European Union and the company’s program offers young Spaniards a professional perspective in Germany (Statista, March 2017 and Eurostat, January 2017).
At the Comte de Rius vocational school trainees acquire the qualification for “Técnico Superior en Química Industrial”. Even during this theoretical training, the trainees participate in practical exercises in Germany and Spain as well as in intensive language courses. In order to adapt the practical knowledge to German training standards, a practical training of 17 month in Germany is obligatory after completing school in Spain. Finally the company applies for the professional recognition of the program graduates’ qualification as a chemist.
The company also supports the Spanish apprentices during the recognition procedure with numerous offers like information and advice for the participants, support in compiling the necessary documents, central filing of applications and covering of costs incurred.
THIS PROGRAM FAMILIARISES THE PARTICIPANTS WITH THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT OF OUR CHEMICAL COMPANY AT AN EARLY STAGE. THE RECOGNITION OF THE PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIOS PROVIDES EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING FOR THE PARTICIPANTS AS FOR DOMESTIC TRAINEES.Speaker of the chemical company
In cooperation with Bavarian private bodies the Bavarian Chamber of Engineers developed a quite different idea: “Opportunities Exchange – Engineering Know-How in Practice” is a low-threshold approach to facilitate the access of already recognised engineers from abroad to the German labour market. One of the main elements is an eight-week job trial.
Making use of the Bavarian Chamber of Engineers media platforms (member magazine, newsletter, and internet platform) engineers from abroad are provided with a platform to introduce themselves. In addition, interested companies are encouraged to establish personal contacts. In case both parties can imagine further cooperation, an 8 week probationary work can be arranged – at best this results in a permanent job, but in any case a job reference will be obtained.
During the job probation the network initiative represents a point of intersection for engineers from abroad and companies interested in skilled employees. To support these activities the network is in charge of the administrative framework (contract, minimum wage, job reference) as well.
MANY COMPANIES ARE UNCERTAIN WHETHER THE ENGINEERS QUALIFIED ABROAD PROVIDE THE REQUIRED TECHNICAL AND LANGUAGE SKILLS. DURING PROBATION WORK THOSE ENGINEERS CAN PROVE THEIR SKILLS AND IN THE BEST CASE FORMER SCEPTICISM WILL FINALLY DWINDLE.Bavarian network initiative “Opportunity Exchange”