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including hands-on report and interview with Nurcahya Köhler, manager of the project Hotline for Employers

“Fast, uncomplicated and case-related”

Advice hotline for employers provides companies with information on all aspects relating to the labour market integration of refugees

Starting position/challenge

In the context of increasing refugee movements, more complex requirements have arisen for small and medium-sized enterprises since 2015, with regard to the employment of people with a refugee background in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The continuously changing, numerous asylum and residence regulations posed a challenge. Various support frameworks were set up in the federal state, but only a few were able to provide correct technical support to companies. The IQ Network Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania identified the need for fast and effective advice services for labour market stakeholders. Employers in particular were looking for combined and comprehensive answers, especially with regard to questions concerning the employment of refugees. This is where the advice hotline comes in, covering all aspects of the labour market topic.

Implementation of the advice hotline for employers

Together with the Refugee Council of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the coordination of the IQ Network Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania initiated the project Advice Hotline For Employers - Information On The Labour Market Integration Of Refugees. A low access threshold offer was developed with case-related telephone discussions on questions relating to the employment of people with a refugee or migration background, which is intended to enable sustainable integration into the labour market. The implementation and advice on individual cases require a high degree of flexibility and communicative skills from the three employees.

The telephone advice, which can also be requested several times, does not result in any additional costs for the companies, long travel distances or complicated appointment allocation. This ensures individual and demand-oriented support for employers by the employees. The offer includes information on the legal basis for the employment of asylum seekers as well as on support options according to the German Social Security Code (Book II and III). The employees have access to a large network of contacts both within the IQ Network Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and to the network “NAFplus - Network Work for Refugees”, with employment agencies, job centres, local educational institutions as well as Chambers of Industry and Commerce and Chambers of Skilled Crafts and Trade. If necessary, the employees arrange contacts with the relevant contact persons on site.


Since July 2016, when the advice hotline became active, several hundred advice sessions have been held. Many enquiries show that there is a high need for advice and that the IQ Network Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is thus in a pioneering role throughout Germany. Continuously changing legal situations have shown that integration of refugees into the labour market should not be taken for granted and that many companies in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania urgently need advice services.

Addressees for transfer:

Entrepreneurs, employment services and other labour market stakeholders

Hotline for employers:

The advice hotline for employers provides free, demand-oriented advice on all issues relating to the employment of refugees, regardless of the location. The contact persons of the hotline provide companies with competent support, e.g. with legal questions regarding the employment of people with and without professional qualifications in internships, apprenticeships or jobs as well as funding opportunities in accordance with the German Social Security Code (SGB II and III). The hotline serves as an interface between IQ counselling offers and external counselling offers and arranges contacts between companies and individual counselling centres.


Counselling hotline for employers

Implementing organisation:

Refugee Council Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania e. V.

Project contact:

Nurcahya Köhler, Goethestr. 75, 19053 Schwerin, Tel.: 0385/581 57 90, iq(at) 


The counselling hotline for employers can be reached via telephone: +49 (0)385/555 75 140, Tuesdays to Thursdays from 9am to 4pm.