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12. January 2017

24 refugees working at the REMONDIS Group

Further steps are to be introduced to make it easier for refugees to join the recycling company

Germany’s current workforce consists of 50 million people and this figure is expected to have dropped to 43.5 million by 2030. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, recently commented on this development at the REMONDIS Forum in Goslar when he said: “It is vital that the country responds to this extremely rapid demographic change and ensures that the refugees arriving in Germany are successfully integrated into society. What is essential here is having a strong and well-functioning economy.”

Based in the Westphalian city of Lünen, REMONDIS is well aware of its responsibilities as the largest recycling company in Germany and has been making every effort to help refugees get a foothold on the job market. 24 refugees are currently working at the company, ten of whom have started an apprenticeship. They are training to become insulation specialists, pipe fitters, professional truck drivers or IT specialists or are taking part in special apprenticeship preparation courses.

The Rethmann family are, therefore, staying true to their company’s mission of accepting challenges and taking responsibility. “The private sector is one of the main cornerstones of our society and so it, too, must do its part to ensure the refugees who have recently travelled to our country are successful integrated,” commented Norbert Rethmann, honorary chairman of the supervisory board of the RETHMANN Group. Taking responsibility also means opening up new horizons for these people who have been forced to flee their homes to escape violence and war, he continued.

It is a well-known fact that having a job is the best way for a person to become well integrated into society. Having your own income and getting to meet people in the workplace create the best conditions to start a new life in a new country. An apprenticeship is a great way for 18 to 25 year olds to lay the foundations for a promising career and a secure future in Germany.

The successful collaboration work between the company and local initiatives is certainly one of the reasons why it has already been able to employ a number of refugees. These volunteers not only provide refugees with the support they so badly need but also help companies to overcome a number of obstacles, many of which are extremely time-consuming. Language problems can also make it difficult for companies and refugees to communicate with each other. Moreover, explanations often need to be given to clarify exactly what the different careers entail: what Syrian refugees, for example, picture the work of an electrician to be has very little in common with the job of an electrician at a large German industrial estate. Furthermore, voluntary groups offer valuable support when it comes to dealing with red tape and explaining cultural differences.

“We are currently working on drawing up concepts that will enable us to offer further refugees a career at REMONDIS. We can, though, be proud of what we’ve already achieved so far,” explained Frank Dohmen, Head of HR at the REMONDIS Group. The recycling company will continue to do everything in its power to take on more refugees. At the end of the day, REMONDIS is hoping that by taking responsibility now and helping those arriving in Germany, it is also ensuring that it has a well-trained workforce in the future.

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