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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Refugee aid: integration into work, integration into society

A total of 340 refugees were working at Deutsche Telekom in 2017 – primarily as apprentices, interns or as part of the "Internship PLUS direct entry" pilot initiative.

Our contribution to the SDGs

Deutsche Telekom’s commitment to working with refugees started with a first-aid task force in 2015, which provided, for example, free Wi-Fi in refugee reception centers and properties to be used as refugee housing. In addition, employees were assigned to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, and employees involved in volunteer refugee work received support.

In 2016, the first-aid project developed into the current "Deutsche Telekom helps refugees” project. By now, the focus is on integration of refugees into the labor market. To this end, we offer internships – the first step in getting a foothold in the German labor market. In 2017 alone, there were 270 new job placements in the various programs. Up to 100 training positions, entry-level training schemes and cooperative Bachelor's and Master's programs were offered. We introduced recruitment days for the intern selection process, which are more about getting to know each other than about perfect prior experience and certificates. Six recruitment days were held in 2017 at different locations, with the majority of the more than 100 internships available being awarded on those days. Through recruiting measures, collaboration with the Federal Employment Agency, communication via social media, volunteer workers and refugees who already work for the company, we were able to increase the number of applications and increase the ratio of applicants to job offers from roughly 2:1 to 5:1.

Internship PLUS direct entry = integration into the working world
The “Internship PLUS direct entry” pilot initiative, a cooperation with the Federal Employment Agency, the Deutsche Post DHL Group and Henkel, also started in 2017. A six month orientation phase is followed by a two-year employment. The advantage is that in addition to work, the refugees will also have enough time to improve their language skills and to find their way step by step into the new job assignment. Overall, we have assigned 38 relevant positions at Deutsche Telekom. Four of the new employees on this program are supporting customer service with their Arabic language skills as part of the "Telekom hilft!” (Telekom helps!) team by answering questions through the ArabicTwitter hotline that was established in this context.

Quote from Christian P. Illek, Chief Human Resources Officer at Deutsche Telekom

Grants create opportunities
In 2016, just under 20 refugees took up studies at Deutsche Telekom’s own University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig and obtained grants from Deutsche Telekom. Moreover, we support the academic education of people who took refuge in Germany through the Welcome grant program from Deutsche Universitätsstiftung. The program offers refugee students in Germany one-on-one counseling with a lecturer from their field of study who lives near their university.

Information about Germany: The Handbook Germany
Under – the further development of our refugee portal started in 2015, in cooperation with the Federal Chancellor's office and the New German Media Professionals – refugees find information regarding life, learning and working in Germany. The information is not only presented in German, but also in other languages such as Arabic, English and Persian. Deutsche Telekom supports the editing team as a technology partner. Handbook Germany was recognized at the Film Festival Cologne by the "MEDIA & MIGRATION NRW 2017" project in the category "Best Project of an Initiative/Institution".

For its engagement in the support of millions of Syrian refugees, the GSM img Association recognized Deutsche Telekom furthermore with the Glomo Award 2017 in the category "Outstanding Contribution to the Mobile Industry".

Support for refugees

Winners, e.g. of the Glomo Awards 2017 in the category "Outstanding Contribution to the Mobile Industry"
Handbook Germany: Winner of the MEDIA & MIGRATION NRW 2017 award in the category "Best Project of an Initiative/Institution" at the Film Festival Cologne
Wi-Fi provision
By the end of 2017, 56 free Wi-Fi hotspots for refugees in refugee centers (figure decreased as expected as some refugee centers were closed)
35 Deutsche Telekom buildings provided for use by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
Placement in training
Offer of up to 100 training places and scholarships, allocation of places in dual Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes
"Internship PLUS direct entry” initiative
Two-year employment of refugees following a six-month orientation phase. Pilot initiative initiated in cooperation with Deutsche Post DHL Group, Henkel and the German Federal Employment Agency.
Refugee portal
Technology partnership for the "Handbook Germany" refugee portal containing information on the asylum process and life and work in Germany (re-launch on February 3, 2017)
Support for the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees provided by over 500 civil servants employed at Deutsche Telekom.
Involvement of DTAG employees
DTAG employees involved in volunteer refugee work, e.g. the eStart program of cooperation partner Volunteer Vision, received support As of December 2017, 63 Deutsche Telekom employees supported one refugee each as language tutors.
For more information please click on the segments.
Barbara Costanzo

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Barbara Costanzo