The DHL Group is also positioning itself globally by signing the UNHCR #WithRefugees petition
Deutsche Post DHL Group has been involved in refugee aid in Germany since September 2015 with the clear goal of offering refugees employment prospects and facilitating integration – and the involvement of over 16,000 of the company‘s employees has certainly paid off.
The company currently employs 1,702 refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Somalia, Iran and Iraq; 4,790 refugees have been given an inside look at working life at the company since the end of 2015. Their experience is gained through traineeships, internships and employment contracts.
Now the company has also launched a collaboration with the organisation Joblinge at four pilot locations in a bid to help young people who have had a difficult start in life – as is also the case for young refugees – to enter the labour market.
In addition, by signing the UNHCR #WithRefugees petition, the company is sending a clear message to governments all over the world.
“Employment is an important prerequisite for successful integration. Hence, as a global company, it goes without saying that we will provide refugees with opportunities within the scope of our resources,” emphasised Thomas Ogilvie, Board Member for Personnel, Labour Director and Corporate Incubations at Deutsche Post DHL Group.
“We have already gained a great deal of positive experience even though we have had to navigate our way around a lot of red tape. We, as employers, also benefit from having a wider circle of applicants. This is of great advantage to us when we recruit new staff, as, particularly in some metropolitan areas, where the good economic environment provides for full employment, the search for personnel can become a challenge.”
The fact that the company continues to be strongly committed to refugees, and supports them in their integration in labour market is demonstrated by the newly concluded cooperation with Joblinge, a non-profit organisation that helps young people with and without a refugee background up to the age of 25 to enter the world of work.
“Our commitment to helping refugees has shown us once again that it is particularly important to help young people who have had a difficult start in life to enter the world of work. There is undiscovered potential here,” Ogilvie added.
Over and above this, the company is offering 450 ‘Praktikum PLUS Direkteinstieg’ direct entry internship positions this year. Together with the Federal Employment Agency, Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom, and Henkel have launched the ‘Praktikum PLUS Direkteinstieg’ programme, which employs a three-phase concept to integrate refugees into the world of work.
During a period of no longer than 12 weeks, the refugees have the opportunity to become familiar with their place of work and are gradually provided with induction training. This phase is then followed by an internship with a broader remit and increased responsibility.
During this time, language and integration courses may also be attended should they be required. In the final phase of the programme, the refugees are offered employment with a fixed-term two-year contract.
The company is also setting an example internationally. It has signed the #WithRefugees petition organised by UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. The latter calls on governments to act in solidarity and to assume joint responsibility.
The campaign will run until the Global Compact for Refugees is signed. In addition, the company has launched the first international programmes to support people who have had to flee from their homes in cooperation with SOS Children’s Villages in Sweden, Lebanon and Syria as well as with Teach For Lebanon.