Website seeks to match migrants with employers in Germany

MigrantHire.com helps migrants cre­ate résumés that match German standards, then connects applicants to German companies.

Refugees show their skills in metal processing works at a workshop for refugees organised by German industrial group Siemens in Berlin, Germany. (Reuters)


2016/12/11 Issue: 85 Page: 20




Berlin - A start-up company in Berlin is trying to help integrate the flood of migrants into the Ger­man workforce with a tailor-made online job market for new arrivals.

The website MigrantHire.com was founded by a mix of Germans and migrants and operates with a staff of five volunteers out of a shared work space in a former in­dustrial building in Berlin’s trendy Kreuzberg district.

More than 8,000 migrants have registered on the website — a frac­tion of the 890,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Germany in 2015 but a sign that some are serious about finding employment.

The website helps migrants cre­ate résumés that match German standards, then connects the ap­plicants to German companies. It is free for the migrants and relies on donations and volunteers.

MigrantHire co-founder Hussein Shaker channelled his own experi­ence trying to find work as a mi­grant into helping others. Back in the Syrian city of Aleppo, he stud­ied information technology (IT) but when he arrived in Germany he could not find work in the IT sector. Instead he ended up work­ing in a call centre while learning German.

When he was approached with the idea of MigrantHire by Remi Mekki, a Norwegian entrepreneur living in Berlin, he quit his job and threw himself into the project.

On a normal workday he and others help migrants write résu­més, answer questions about Ger­man employment law and help migrants apply for jobs that com­panies have posted on the website.

“It is not easy,” he says about the thousands of migrants looking for jobs. “The migrants had to leave everything behind but I think that, in the end… it will all work out.”

For Syrian migrant Naji Neg­mah, it already has. After a year spent learning German, Negmah was put in contact by MigrantHire with a security company in Berlin. After an interview, the 24-year-old from Damascus, who arrived in 2014, was given a ten-day training course, then started working as a security guard at an asylum-seek­ers home in Berlin.

Now he works full time on the same contract as all the other staff.

Negmah is greeted by a group of children as he enters the four-storey former office building that houses about 200 asylum seekers, mostly from Syria but also Afghan­istan and Iraq. He speaks Arabic to the children and they think of him as one of their own.

“When I came here, I knew I wanted get a job that let me help other migrants,” he said in fluent German. “This job lets me do that.”

At the security company, recent migrants make up about 25% of the guards.

Company owner Seyed Ali Khatoun Abadi, who arrived in Germany as a refugee from Iran in 1986, said the recent arrivals are the perfect fit since they can speak to most of the asylum seekers in their own language and they un­derstand the stress and issues fac­ing them.

Not everyone’s had as much luck as Negmah, however. Even with Germany’s national unem­ployment rate at only 4.1%, the government says 400,000 asylum seekers are still looking for work.

A study published by the Fed­eral Department for Migration and Refugees stated that only 13% of asylum seekers find work in the first two years after arriving in Germany. That figure increases to 22% in the third year and 31% in the fourth year.

Negmah is grateful to the web­site.

“I like this work,” he said. “I want to continue working as a se­curity guard.”

(The Associated Press)


As Printed
MENA Now
Editors' Picks

The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

Senior Editor: John Hendel

Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

Regular Columnists

Claude Salhani

Yavuz Baydar

Correspondents

Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

Thomas Seibert (Washington)

Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi

Designers

Ibrahim Ben Bechir

Hanen Jebali

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Contact editor at:editor@thearabweekly.com

Subscription & Advertising: Ads@alarab.co.uk

Tel 020 3667 7249

Mohamed Al Mufti

Marketing & Advertising Manager

Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

www.alarab.co.uk

Al Arab Publishing House

Kensington Centre

177-179 Hammersmith Road

London W6 8BS , UK

Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

Follow Us
© The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved