Germany has already started the process of integrating the refugees. Starting November 9, 40 refugees will join the so-called „bridge internship” program in Stuttgart. Daimler is planning to qualify hundreds of refugees for jobs in the German industry.
It is a win-win situation in the process, says Wilfried Porth, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Human Resources and Director of Labor Relations, IT & Mercedes-Benz Vans: „It is an opportunity for Germany. As a company, we take social responsability very seriously. With our program, we help refugees with their professional and social integration and offer an unbureaucratic enry intro labour market.”
The internships are organized in cooperation with the German Federal Employment Agency and the Stuttgart Job Center. The refugees will be provided assistance to learn basic practical skills for work in industrial production and will attend German courses every day. The Agency will also finance the first six weeks of the 14-week internship. For the remaining 8, Daimler will pay compensation for the hours worked in accordance with the minimum wage law. In Germany, that is equivalent to 8 or more euros per hour.
Working hours during the practical section will be three and a half hours per day. Other three and a half hours will be spent learning German. Daimler is also financing the German classes.
The refugees who will complete the program successfully, will be referred to other companies, employment agencies or professional training programs.
“We welcome people who have experienced escape and displacement. The great efforts of our employees and our company to ensure that refugees are given a fair chance in our country are strong signals of solidarity”, states Michael Brecht, Chairman of the General Works Council of Daimler AG.
Help with no frontiers
Mercedes-Benz is also offering vehicles to relief organizations involved in the process of integration of the refugees.
This is not a new mission for Daimler. The company has been providing assistance for refugees for a while. Starting 2013, Daimler has been cooperating with `Wings of Help´, sending three convoys with relief supplies to Syrian refugee camps in Turkey and two airplanes of aid supplies to northern Iraq.
Daimler will also donate €100,000 per year for the next three years, for a refugee Welcome Fund. The automaker is also contributing with other €100,000 to the Civic Foundation (Bürgerstiftung) of the town of Sindelfingen, which will be used, among other purposes, to support projects for the integration of the newly arriving refugees.
Last month, the company donated €1 million to the organization `Bild hilft e.V. – Ein Herz für Kinder` (`A heart for children´). Every cent of this donation goes directly into assistance programs for refugee children. The Daimler Group has also launched a call for donations to its employees, who come from no less than 140 countries. The funds will be handed over to the German Red Cross for emergency aid for refugees. Employees have already donated € 250.000.