REFUCATION – Integration of Refugees through Education
While on average, 23% of all apprentices drop out of their apprenticeship in Baden-Wurttemberg, this number lies at 39% when it comes to citizens of the main refugee-sending countries.1 The drop-out rate among refugees is way above average, and the administrative council of Stuttgart estimates that 80% of apprentices who migrated to Germany have insufficient German knowledge.
All of this begs the question: How can we help refugees who are working hard and want to integrate, but struggle to keep their apprenticeship?
REFUCATION – short for Integration of Refugees through Education – will see students tutoring refugees on school premises.
Our project will base on four different parties: the refugees, a group of students (mainly 10th graders), the companies that the refugees work at and the so-called managers of integration, special appointees by the state of Baden-Wurttemberg that support refugees in a local area.
The refugees will go to the students’ school and be taught by students like you and me in subjects like Math or German, which many refugees struggle with. They will work in small groups with an equal number of refugees and students. The tutoring can be adapted according to every individual refugee’s needs.
The companies the refugees work at will consult with their workers regarding their tutoring needs and encourage their refugees to participate in various training courses.
Managers of Integration can coordinate matches according to the needs of the refugees since they know the individual refugees and their backgrounds.
They will be the connecting part between students and refugees and can help in case any intercultural or social problems occur.
Through the additional access to personalised tutoring, the refugees will increase their Math skills and German knowledge. REFUCATION will give them better chances of completing their apprenticeship. They will meet new people and socialise with locals, thereby increase their social and communication skills and have somebody to talk to.
But students will also attain tons of benefits from participating in REFUCATION: They will improve their intercultural competences, thereby learn about different people and their stories, which means that they will also overcome stereotypes, which will help them think independently and for themselves. Furthermore, students will gain valuable teaching skills and experiences as well as the option to replace one oral exam of the Abitur at the beginning of year 11 by doing a written elaboration and a colloquium (in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg2).
There will be more refugees successfully completing their apprenticeship, which will lead to a bigger pool of qualified workers that companies can work with, and the risk of refugees dropping out may be substantially lowered since the additional tutoring helps them with their apprenticeship.
All of this will lead to the easier integration of refugees into the labour market.
1 Sprengholz, Fabian. Ministerium für Soziales und Integration, Baden-Württemberg, Referat 44 (Integration in Arbeit, Monitoring, Analysen). Information provided via e-mail regarding the drop-out rate of apprentices. July 1st, 2019.
2 Ministerium für Kultus, Jugend und Sport Baden-Württemberg (eds.) (October 2018). Leitfaden für die gymnasiale Oberstufe. Abitur 2021. Paderborn: Bonifatius GmbH, 16