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Giving the next generation a chance

The Nagel-Group trains refugees in Nuremberg

Ermias Abebe Zewde, Galhat Haji and Samir Noori complete their training at the Kraftverkehr Nagel Nuremberg branch. That is not all they have in common: They all came to Germany as refugees.

From left: Galhat Haji, Ermias Abebe Zewde and Samir Noori.

The three trainees originally come from countries in crisis: Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Syria. In 2013 and 2014 they fled to Nuremberg on foot, by boat and in trucks. Then, as part of job experience at the Nagel branch in Nuremberg, they discovered their interest in logistics, and on 1st September started their training in Nuremberg. Two as HGV drivers, one as specialist warehouse operator. The three trainees acquired their first knowledge of German in their refugee accommodation, and now are being sponsored in further German language courses by AAU - the German Enterprises’ Active Training Association. “As the Nagel-Group we take our responsibility to society seriously, and are proving this once again by training refugees. The most important aspect for us is the sustainable development of skills in our young employees, who have to demonstrate their commitment even before training starts,” says Stephan Speckner, Branch Manager in Nuremberg.

Overcoming bureaucratic hurdles

The Nagel-Group contacted various employment agencies and chambers to find suitable candidates for the training programme. “It is crucial to network better with the various players providing aid to refugees, and to make specific offers,” explains Ulrich Mihatsch, Training Manager in Germany. By sponsoring actions such as work experience, introductory training qualifications or actual training places, like in Nuremberg, we have the opportunity to intensify and expand our dialogue with the appropriate centres.” But getting to this point was not that simple. “It’s not a sprint, more like a marathon,” is how Siglinde Burger summarises her experience with bureaucracy overall, in relation to the training. There are legal requirements and bureaucratic hurdles which the training manager has to overcome with the refugees, as well as the need to clarify their legal status and apply for a work permit.

Cooperation gets off to a good start

In the training programme, all those involved benefit from one another. “We help young refugees to integrate by making training possible for them, and we get qualified employees as part of our “next generation” training programme,” explains Siglinde Burger, who together with Tobias Möller is responsible for looking after 34 trainees at the Nuremberg branch. Despite some challenges with bureaucracy, working with the new Nagel-Group employees is so far going very well. All three feel themselves accepted by their colleagues, and are happy to answer the many questions about their country of origin and long journey to Germany. After the long waiting period between refugee accommodation and German courses, we just want one thing above all else: Finally to work and start a normal life in Germany.

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