Stuttgart – Daimler is launching so called `bridge internships´ for refugees. As of November 9, about 40 participants will be starting fourteen-week `bridge internships´ at the Mercedes-Benz Plant in Stuttgart. The internships are organized with the German Federal Employment Agency and the Stuttgart Job Center. The refugees will learn basic practical skills for work in industrial production and will attend German courses every day. The participants will be selected at the end of October by the German Federal Employment Agency and the Stuttgart Job Center.
The aim is to offer `bridge internships´ at many other Mercedes-Benz plants in Germany in the future. Overall, several hundred refugees are to be qualified for jobs in German industry. Participants who have completed the `bridge internship´ successfully will be referred to other companies, temporary employment agencies or professional training programs.
“Immigration is an opportunity for Germany. As a company, we take social responsibility very seriously. With our `bridge internships´ we help refugees with their professional and social integration and offer an unbureaucratic entry into the labor market”, said Wilfried Porth, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Human Resources and Director of Labor Relations, IT & Mercedes-Benz Vans.
The German Federal Employment Agency will finance the first six weeks of the fourteen-week internship. For the remaining weeks, Daimler will pay compensation for the hours worked in accordance with minimum wage law. Working hours during the practical section will be three and a half hours per work day; another three and a half hours will be spent learning German. Daimler is financing the German courses for the full duration of the `bridge internships´.
"We welcome people, who have experienced escape and displacement. At Daimler, many people from different backgrounds have been working together for years, and many of our co-workers are involved in social projects. This is something we are very proud of. The great efforts of our employees and our company to ensure that refugees are given a fair chance in our country are strong signals of solidarity," said Michael Brecht, Chairman of the General Works Council of Daimler AG.Company launches further relief efforts
In addition to professional integration, Daimler is also involved in the social integration of refugees and supports relief efforts of its employees. The newly implemented nationwide relief campaigns range from financing more German courses for refugees to food donations. In addition, the company has also provided a `helpers' fleet´ of Mercedes-Benz vehicles to relief organizations.Employees help with action days for refugees
Daimler employees will also take part in action days for refugees. There are plans to renovate housing and build children's playgrounds. Additionally, Daimler finances the necessary materials and makes sure the work is organized by professional tradespeople. The events are announced on the company's intranet and employees can offer their skills (including languages) and submit suggestions for other initiatives via the Employee Portal.
Daimler has been providing active assistance for refugees for some time. Since 2013, the company has been working with `Wings of Help´ to send three convoys with relief supplies to Syrian refugee camps in Turkey and two airplanes of aid supplies to northern Iraq. Daimler will provide the city of Stuttgart with €100,000 per year for the next three years for a refugee Welcome Fund. The Group is also contributing €100,000 to the Civic Foundation (Bürgerstiftung) of the town of Sindelfingen, which will be used, among other purposes, to support projects for the integration of newly arriving refugees.
In September, the company donated €1 million to the organization `Bild hilft e.V. - Ein Herz für Kinder` (`A heart for children´). Every cent of this donation goes directly into assistance projects for refugee children. The Daimler Group, headquartered in Stuttgart, has also launched a call for donations to its employees. The funds collected by October 19th will be matched by Daimler and handed over to the German Red Cross for emergency aid for refugees. Employees have donated close to € 250.000 to date.
Daimler is active in practically every country in the world. An international perspective and respectful cooperation between various nationalities have been part of the daily routine at the company for decades. Employees of about 140 nationalities work at Daimler locations in Germany.