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SIDEBAR Training in trades helps mitigate refugee unemployment in Germany

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - Refugees in Germany are increasingly being drawn to the skilled crafts sector, reported the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) on Thursday.

Looking at trainees who have arrived in Germany from eight countries - including Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq - the ZDH counted 11,000 people studying a craft. That was more than double the 4,600 counted a year ago.

ZDH president Hans Peter Wollseifer said one reason is because the trades are reaching out to the refugee population more than other potential employers.

The highest number of trainees was from Afghanistan, at 4,307, followed by 3,101 from Syria and 1,124 from Iraq. The most popular fields of study were automotive engineering, systems mechanics and hairstyling.

In its monthly unemployment report on Thursday, the Federal Employment Agency noted that employment of migrants from a selected group of countries rose by 15 per cent, or 308,000, for January, in comparison with the figures from January 2017.

Unemployment by this same group fell by 2 per cent, meaning 11,000 fewer people were looking for work in Germany.

The countries included in this statistic are: Afghanistan, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Eritrea, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Somalia, Spain, Syria and Ukraine.

"The workplace integration of refugees will take multiple years," read the report. "Registering as unemployed for a refugee is the first step in an integration process which can take a long time due to problems with language skills and formal qualifications."

It noted that refugees from non-European countries had not contributed much to unemployment in Germany, partially thanks to training programmes. Indeed, it noted that unemployment in this group fell 2 per cent in March, while 80,000 people in this group found work, an increase of 61 per cent.


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