On 15th of May 2019 the event „Hidden Potentials” with a focus on approved refugees took place in Graz. Participants tried to answer question how can we identify their potentials, develop them and integrate the people in the labour market. The aspects of language, competence and qualification were elaborated in a world café.
It was acknowledged that very often qualification achieved in another country are not approved in Austria and that refugees often work beyond their qualification, causing that valuable work potential get lost. People have good practical but weak language skills, so they cannot present themselves properly. Consequently, companies should meet the job candidates personally and should not judge them by their application form. Financial support should be offered to companies that are willing to offer language classes and on-the-job-trainings for approved refugees. Moreover, it was advised that companies value more work experience and not that much certificates. Simplified work descriptions could be provided for people with weaker language skills and internships offered to the potential job applicants with the aim to idetify their potential.
Moreover, it was concluded that faster approbation of qualification from other countries would be necessary, the possibility of passing final apprenticeship diplomas in mother tongue was debated as well as the possibility of passing professional and language qualifications parallel to work.
The participants agreed that language skills are indispensable for entering the Austrian labour market and that those improve by interacting with a native speaker. Consequently, mentoring system makes work process more successful for refugees. Thus, improving language skills of approved refugees should be a common mission of companies and political stakeholders, helping through classes and other support systems.
37 people from Austria, New Zealand, Russia, the United States, Slovenia, Italy, former Yugoslavia and Iraq attended the workshop.