Porsche has chosen an extraordinary approach when it comes to the integration of refugees: The integration programme enables an apprenticeship or direct job entry – potentially even with the sports car manufacturer itself, provided that the men and women who come from six different nations meet the typically required conditions at Porsche at the end of the programme. The focus of the integration programme is on learning the German language and acquiring basic trade skills. Furthermore, there are numerous measures aimed at promoting the refugees’ cultural skills and thus their practical integration.
“We already commented on the flood of refugees in September 2015 and now we are taking ourselves up on our promise,” says Andreas Haffner, Member of the Executive Board for Human Resources and Social Affairs at Porsche AG. From the very beginning, Porsche wanted to avoid a rush job. “Rather, we intended to develop a comprehensive programme that facilitates practical integration and provides refugees with prospects for employment that are sustainable and as realistic as possible. The Porsche integration programme is exemplary and the logical continuation of our Porsche preparatory year, with which we have already proven in the past that assuming social responsibility is particularly important to us.”
Uwe Hück, Chairman of the General Works Council: “The refugees who have come are here now. We have to accept that. In order to contain the flood of refugees, we need peace. But we are miles away from achieving peace in the crisis regions. That is why we have to integrate the refugees here and now, why we have to give them work and prospects. We have to become the world champions of integration. This topic concerns our entire economy and I can only encourage other companies to participate. In order to secure safety and prosperity, we need integration, since integration means stability. And whoever is against integration is also against stability in Germany. But integration is not a one-way street. On the contrary, for me, it means: The refugees have to learn German and they have to accept our culture. And integration also means showing mutual tolerance and respect. All of this not only resonates with Porsche, it is part of Porsche. That is why I am sure that our integration year will be a complete and sustainable success.”
The participants of the Porsche integration year were chosen in close cooperation with Stuttgart’s commercial schools’ VABO-classes (“Vorqualifizierung Arbeit/Beruf mit Schwerpunkt Erwerb in Deutschkenntnissen”, in English: pre-qualification work/occupation focused on learning German) and following the special recommendation of the schools’ teachers.
Moreover, there was a close collaboration with the Federal Agency of Employment, the JobCenter and the Ministry of Integration and Cultural Affairs in Baden-Wuerttemberg concerning the structure and content of the integration programme. The final decision was up to Porsche’s apprenticeship coordinators and the works council. Ten men and five women ultimately made it into the programme. They are from Eritrea, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. These are men and women that escaped war and crisis regions to come to Baden-Wuerttemberg and who have the necessary residence permits.
Porsche AG trains 150 young men and women each year: 34 graduates from the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, ten apprentices in the commercial and 106 in the technical-industrial field. In addition, there are ten graduates of the preparatory year each year. These are young adults whose training maturity is generally disputed and who can qualify for a technical-industrial apprenticeship at Porsche over a period of nine months. With the 15 participants in the integration programme, Porsche is significantly increasing its activities in the fields of training and career preparation.