including hands-on report and interview with Nathalie Schönberger, contact person for the project “Volunteers in Network IQ” in MigraNet – Network IQ Bavaria
In addition to counselling services provided by both public and private sectors, such as public authorities, government agencies, schools and companies, volunteers play an important role in the early integration of refugees into the labour market. In order to make the cooperation of full-time and voluntary staff effective and goal-oriented, the provision and dissemination of relevant information materials for volunteers, on the topics of labour market integration, is essential. In Network IQ, it became apparent that there is a need to constantly update and review support materials for this target group. In order to bridge this gap, target group-oriented information materials were developed by the project “Volunteers in Network IQ” of the organisation “Tür an Tür Integrationsprojekte gGmbh” of MigraNet – Network IQ Bavaria.
The focus of the information sheets was on four specialised topics. The practical handouts on the subject of “Recognition of foreign qualifications”, summarise the legal basis, responsibilities, costs and support options of the recognition procedure. The section “Legal regulations on access to the labour market for refugees” contains questionnaires and information sheets regarding residency status, language proficiency, job situation, internships and training as well as an overview of the responsibilities of relevant authorities. Additionally, three documents provide answers to questions regarding “integration and work-related German language courses”. There, voluntary and compulsory participation in these courses, costs and reimbursement of costs, registration as well as the running of the courses, are discussed. The recommendations for action on “Dealing with refugees with trauma-related disorders” help volunteers to consider the limits of their support options.
The information sheets were prepared by experts in close cooperation with the respective IQ Competence Centres. These practical handouts are summarised in the brochure “Integration of Refugees into the Labour Market”. This publication also contains detailed lists of the relevant competent authorities as well as links to current consulting services. Additionally, a “Volunteer Methods Kit” is provided as part of the project, which contains further useful information materials. It offers facilitators from the Network IQ access to materials and information to support volunteers. All information materials that are uniform at federal level are made available for download centrally.
The handouts and the brochure have received a wide range of response within a short period of time as organisations working with volunteers requested hundreds of copies within two months of the first publication.
Addressees for transfer:
Employment agencies and job centres, citizens volunteering and information centres
Information material for volunteers regarding the integration of refugees into the labour market:
Volunteers who want to help people with a refugee background on their way into the German labour market, need to have indepth knowledge in order to provide support. The information materials avaliable for this purpose, focus on four different topics: “Recognition of foreign qualifications”, “Access for refugees to the labour market”, “Participation in intergration and work related German courses”, and “Dealing with post-traumatic stress”. This information is summarised in the brochure “Intergration of Refugees into the Labour Market – Information for Volunteers”.
Volunteers in Network IQ
Nathalie Schönberger, Wertachstraße 29, 86153 Augsburg, Tel.: (+49) 0821/907 99 86, nathalie.schoenberger(at)tuerantuer.de