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including hands-on report and interview with Adrian Blechschmidt, project contact for the project Regional skilled worker networks – immigration (Thuringia).

"ThAFF Praxisaustausch" event format

An IQ subproject and the Thuringian Agency for Skilled Personnel Marketing (ThAFF) support companies in the area of skilled worker immigration and facilitate company networking with chambers, the Federal Employment Agency, immigration authorities and key

Starting position/challenge

The demand for skilled workers from companies based in Thuringia is high. At the same time there is uncertainty regarding the immigration of foreign skilled workers, particularly concerning the Skilled Immigration Act, which entered into force on 1 March 2020. The IQ subproject "Regional skilled worker networks – immigration (Thuringia)" and the Thuringian Agency for Skilled Personnel Marketing (ThAFF) are working closely together to rectify the situation. The plan was to launch an event format focused on the everyday realities for companies and which would generate the knowledge required in a "concise and compact" manner. At the same time, the format also had to be structured in such a way as to create a broad and tailored offer for company representatives from a wide range of different sectors.

Implementation of the ThAFF Praxisaustausch event format

The demands companies from a wide variety of different sectors place on employees are as diverse as the immigrants themselves. Coming together to share views and ideas enables particularly effective and sustainable solutions to be found and ensures the successful integration of international skilled workers. To support this, a monthly, two-hour practice-based and focussed exchange of views and ideas was started by the above stakeholders in 2019.

A different emphasis addressing the integration of international skilled workers in the labour market is chosen for each event. In contrast to a business breakfast, at which companies engage with one another, the ThAFF Praxisaustausch always offers a practically relevant training unit which thoroughly addresses the content covered. To enable effective planning, themes for the most part are determined at the start of the year. Short introductions to the subject matter are followed by a chaired discussion, which benefits greatly from the questions asked and the experiences shared.

Insights, results and issues relating to future solutions are then compiled, documented and made available online. Not only has the cooperation between the IQ subproject and the Thuringian Agency proven to be advantageous, but effective networking with chambers, the Federal Employment Agency, immigration authorities, integration officers, projects, key organisations and additional stakeholders in the area of International Skilled Personnel Marketing has also created synergies beneficial to companies based in Thuringia. Business owners are also able to benefit from having their concerns heard at federal state and national level.

Conclusion

Over the course of 2019, the level of participation by company representatives increased. There is particularly strong representation among the craft trades and the social and healthcare sectors. Increasing numbers of enquiries have been received regarding ThAFF Praxisaustausch format from various regions of Thuringia. In total, around 250 individuals overall have so far benefited from the format.

Addressees for transfer:

Companies

ThAFF Praxisaustausch event format

The event format is a monthly dialogue with company representatives organised by the IQ subproject provider, the Institut für Berufsbildung und Sozialmanagement gGmbH, in cooperation with the Thuringian Agency for Skilled Personnel Marketing (ThAFF). Besides providing information on all aspects of the Skilled Immigration Act, the meeting is also an opportunity to discuss challenges and work on solutions. This combines focused specialist input with the sharing of ideas and experiences from practice.

Project:

Regional skilled worker networks – immigration (Thuringia)

Provider:

Institut für Berufsbildung und Sozialmanagement gGmbH

Project contact:

Adrian Blechschmidt, Lena Untertrifaller, Wallstr. 18, 99084 Erfurt, adrian.blechschmidt(at)ibs-thueringen.de, lena.untertrifaller(at)ibs-thueringen.de