Language skills also present a barrier for many newcomers looking to gain a foothold in Germany. The risk of ending up in precarious working conditions is high. At the same time, many sectors in Germany and throughout Europe face severe challenges in filling their job openings and training positions. Demographic change, a shift in the labor market, and an ever-growing offering of study programs or alternative job training possibilities lead to a decline in the recruitment rates of apprentices for technical professions.
Since November 2021, Kiron and Alstom have joined forces to tackle this mismatch through our first joint project, “Digital learning opportunities and skills training for refugees,” funded by the Alstom Foundation. In the project, Kiron has developed a digital learning program consisting of language and 21st-century skills courses on Kiron Campus and course content in mechatronics and electronics provided by Cornelsen eCademy. Recruitment was a huge success – more than 300 learners expressed interest and registered for the program.
A significant milestone and highlight of the project was a visit to the Alstom site in Salzgitter in Lower Saxony on August 11th. Fourteen of our highly-motivated program participants traveled from all over Germany to join the event. Christian Peter, head of training at Alstom in Salzgitter, welcomed the students and showed them around the site to give them first-hand insights into the company. Mr. Peter and the students had already met through two online workshops, but it was clear to all that a “real” in-person meeting and site visit was invaluable for the program’s success. For the participants, this was the first time they had seen how trains are manufactured – an experience that is difficult to convey online. The visit also included a presentation about open job positions by Amelie Dittmann, Inhouse Recruiter at Alstom. Receiving this information firsthand and asking questions created a unique opportunity for the participants to make informed decisions about their job applications and take the next step in their careers.
“The tour in Alstom factory was awesome. After this tour, I’m seeing trains completely different.” – Martha, Kiron student.
Six students have already submitted their applications to Alstom to start an internship or job position, and more are still working on their online preparatory courses. We wish them good luck with their next steps in their careers! We are grateful for our partnership with Alstom and Cornelsen ecademy & Inside GmbH to create pathways into the job market for Kiron students. A big thank you to our partners and to the Alstom Foundation for making this possible!