November 15, 2016

Successful integration of refugees – best practice in Bavaria

One year ago, the Bavarian Industry Association (vbw) together with the Bavarian state government, the Bavarian Employment Agency and other stakeholders of the Bavarian economy, launched an integration initiative for refugees, especially those who have good chances of permanent residency in Germany. At that time we announced our commitment to integrate 20.000 refugees into vocational training, internships or employment in 2016.

Target surpassed before the end of the year

One year later, with almost 40.000 integration measures, this target was more than met. As early as September vbw President Alfred Gaffal announced that amongst those 20.200 refugees are employed, 4.100 are apprenticed and 15.100 do an internship. Alfred Gaffal emphasized the contribution of the Bavarian industry: „In Bavaria, the companies themselves and we as their business association work hard to integrate refugees from small to large companies from small trade to larger industry.”

Specific programs for pre-qualified refugees

Altogether, vbw and the Bavarian Employers’ Associations for the Metalworking and Electrical Industries provided 6.7 million euro for the implementation of IdA (Integration durch Ausbildung und Arbeit) and its different programs. IdA Bayern Turbo and Ida 1000 are two examples. Both of them prepare those refugees that are likely to stay in Germany for the job market. These programs include language acquisition and internships for around 2300 asylum seekers.

To make sure the process of integration works as smoothly as possible, there is a designated IdA Navigator in each district in Bavaria. It is the role of the Navigators to serve as contact person for participating companies and to advise them in all questions on the employment of refugees. Another program is IdA Ausbilderqualifikation– a special training for staff members that are responsible for training apprentices and the integration of refugees in their company. So far, more than 500 employees made use of this service that started in January 2016.

Corporate social responsibility

The integration of refugees is a challenge for the society as a whole. With IdA and its specific programs vbw is making its own contribution.

To read more about the integration of refugees and IdA, please download our position paper Flüchtlingsintegration (in German).

In addition, read here the agreement on Integration durch Ausbildung und Arbeit (IdA) in German language.


Sebastian-Frederik Kühnel

Flüchtlingsintegration, IdA Projekte

Sebastian-Frederik Kühnel