Enhancing Labour Market Integration for International Talent

On 23rd of May, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Match Talent, organised an event in Berlin ‘Linking international talent with employers in Germany’. 
This joint event aimed at presenting solutions on how to best utilise the talents that newcomers bring to Germany, regardless of the challenges. 

The event brought together representatives from NGOs, governmental organisations, and the private sector to exchange best practices, ideas and highlight existing challenges as a starting point to finding new solutions to facilitate access to the German labour market.

New group

In the image: Attending organisations: Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, IOM, Match Talent, Cisco, Workeer, ReDI School of Digital Integration, Handbook Germany : Together, Ayekoo - arbeit und ausbildung e.V., NETZWERK Unternehmen integrieren Flüchtlinge, LinkedIn, DHL, Kiron Open Higher Education, Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, socialbee GmbH, Ipso, Somali Diaspora in Deutschland (SOMDID) e.V.

Challenges for newcomers 

Accessing Germany's workforce presents various challenges for newcomers. Difficulties in diploma and skills recognition, such as complex credential evaluation processes and legal and regulatory restrictions can pose significant barriers to talent mobility. 
Additionally, language requirements to be able to continue working in a profession, or a lack of relevant professional experience and skills are also significant obstacles. The overall bureaucratic processes add to the mix. 

Furthermore, migrants often face additional hurdles, such as dependency on fixed jobs or specific employers due to different visa restrictions. Many individuals struggle to understand their rights regarding employment in Germany. 

However, even those who secure a job in Germany can still face issues when employed. Companies, especially small and mid-sized ones, point to difficulties with existing regulations, such as the requirement to have a minimum number of participants to fund language courses, which they often cannot meet. Moreover, the individual impact on migrants integrating into the German workforce is often neglected. Those complex issues can also lead to psycho-social challenges. These are often exacerbated by the lack of long-term job contracts and uncertainty about their future in Germany. 

Nation-wide problems, local solutions

Several solutions initiated by or in collaboration with the private sector were identified and supported through experience and research. For instance, DHL, in collaboration with the Jobcenters and federal agencies, recruits through its own platform. Their model has proved successful for years and allowed many international talents to find a job, integrate and settle in Germany. 

Upskilling initiatives, such as LinkedIn’s premium access for refugees were also seen as valuable in helping migrants become more proactive in the job market. Utilising existing resources more effectively, and creating a more supportive environment were highlighted as crucial for integrating refugees. Two invited organisations who presented at the event, Workeer and Ciso, added to the pool of possible solutions. 

Workeer’s innovative job platform solution offers jobs from over 8,000 registered companies and has led to a significant number of successful job placements in the past nine years. The presentation highlighted the advantages diverse talent can bring to businesses, emphasising the high motivation and retention rates of refugee employees. 

Cisco, a company that focuses on networking devices and establishes computer networks, presented their Networking Academy (NetAcad) initiative. The platform offers a wide range of free courses in IT and cybersecurity, aimed at supporting refugees and international talents to gain relevant skills. Cisco shared global statistics about their initiative, showcasing that 95% of their learners obtained a job or education opportunity after completing their courses. Certified career courses align to career pathways and they offer an alumni network for global networking opportunities.


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Untapped solutions

The participants discussed several best practices and potential solutions to overcome existing challenges. The need for creating strong support networks and communities for migrants to foster a sense of belonging and empowerment was highlighted. More flexible learning opportunities, such as online upskilling courses and language programmes that can be accessed anytime, anywhere and free of costs were advocated. The presentations of the success of job boards also showed good opportunities for both employers and job-seekers. Additionally, offering more long-term contracts and transparent job offers was suggested as a way to significantly improve the integration process and reduce psycho-social challenges.

Educational workshops providing information about those topics can be a solution to reduce nescience. The importance of transparency from companies in job offers, particularly regarding the required level of German language proficiency, was emphasised. On a positive note, some organisations already provide comprehensive support, including certificate training, language workshops, and mentorship programmes, but these may not always be sufficient.

IOM and Match Talent will continue to meet and discuss further solutions to facilitate the integration of international talents into the German job market. The next steps include exploring more collaborative approaches with relevant stakeholders and leveraging existing resources to maximise the potential of international professionals.