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including hands-on report and interview with Maria Oikonomidou, contact person for the event format Labour Market Talks in Network IQ Berlin

In your own premises – in different languages

Event format Labour Market Talks with migrant organisations promotes information transfer in an active way

Starting position/challenge

Information about the offers of employment services and other labour market stakeholders does not always reach immigrants and refugees. Reasons can be linguistic or structural obstacles, both for the institutions and for the immigrants. In order to facilitate access to information for people with a migration history and to increase their chances on the labour market, it is important to create alternative, need-based offers. Migrant organisations (MO) play an important bridging function in this respect. In order to bring together labour market stakeholders and immigrant workers, the Association for Intercultural Work (VIA), regional federation Berlin/ Brandenburg e. V. has developed the Labour Market Talks event format with migrant organisations in the framework of the communal welcoming culture project “Welcome to Berlin – Empowerment of migrant organisations in the context of the structures of the communal welcoming culture” in the IQ Network Berlin.

Implementation of the event format

The first step is the consultation with the people responsible for migrant organisations by a team member of the IQ sub-project “Welcome to Berlin”. There, the needs of the members of the MO with regard to labour market integration are determined and the topics of the Labour Market Talks are decided together. These include, for example, the recognition of foreign professional qualifications, training opportunities, grants and subsidies for self-employed persons, professional re-entry and labour market laws. In order to lower the accessibility threshold for those immigrants taking part in Labour Market Talks and to achieve a long-term effect, the concept includes various measures. Firstly, the presentations and subsequent questions and exchanges will be held in the native language so that language barriers can be eliminated. Secondly, the event will take place on the premises of the MO. This creates a familiar environment that removes barriers when it comes to accessibility and promotes personal networking and mutual support. Thirdly, an important aspect is that the MO acts as an organiser and invites independent speakers from educational institutions, trade unions and the labour administration to talk. In this way, the Labour Market Talks format promotes the empowerment of MO as well as immigrants and refugees. One challenge during implementation is that small migrant organisations have fewer human and financial resources. However, the MO will receive financial compensation for making their premises and event technology available. The events within the framework of the Labour Market Talks last three hours each.


The event format Labour Market Talks starts with the resources and potential of the MO, which through this concept can directly convey important information on labour market integration according to the needs of the target groups. In 2017, a total of 234 participants in eight languages were reached at 17 Migrant Organisations.


Addressees for transfer:

Migrant organisations working to integrate migrants and refugees into the labour market

Format Labour Market Talks with migrant organisations:

The Labour Market Talks with migrant organisations (MO) build bridges between labour market institutions and refugees and workers with a migration background.  The MO invites labour market institutions to do so and therefore helps them to directly communinicate their offers to their target groups, according to their needs. The MO as organisers are perceived as equal partners in labour market integration. Since the talks take place in the MO’s own rooms and in the mother tongue, the access threshold for those seeking advice is low. The participants function as multipliers in their communities.


Welcome to Berlin – Empowerment of migrant organisations in the context of the structures of the communal welcoming culture Implementing organisation: Association for Intercultural Work (VIA), regional federation Berlin/Brandenburg e. V.

Project contact:

Maria Oikonomidou, Petersburger Str. 92, 10247 Berlin, Tel.: 030/29 00 69 48, iq-netz-berlin(at)