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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Refugee aid: integration into work, integration into society

Our contribution to the SDGs

In 2018, Deutsche Telekom made approximately 440 job offers to refugees – predominantly as part of a training course, in the form of internships or through our “Internship PLUS direct entry” program.

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 initiative developed into the current “Deutsche Telekom helps refugees” project, which we successfully continued in 2018. By now, the focus is on integration of refugees into the labor market. In 2018 alone, there were more than 250 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. Recruitment days were hosted to find candidates for internships, with the main focus on letting recruiters and applicants get to know each other, rather than inquiring about previous experience or viewing certificates. In 2018, five recruitment days were held at different locations, during which the majority of the more than 100 internships available were filled. Setting our sights in 2018 on long-lasting integration into the world of work, we arranged subsequent training or direct access to employment for as many interns as we could. We succeeded in filling approximately 30 percent of the longer-term positions with candidates who had previously completed an internship at our company.

Internship PLUS direct entry: integration into the working world
In 2018, Deutsche Telekom also continued and developed the “Internship PLUS direct entry” program, which started off as a collaboration with the Federal Employment Agency, the Deutsche Post DHL Group and Henkel in 2016. For example, we created new jobs in areas in particularly urgent need of staff, such as  technical service and customer service.  An orientation phase lasting three to six months is followed by a two-year employment contract. The advantage is that refugees have time to improve their language skills and to gradually find their feet in their new roles while working at the same time. In total, we once again assigned 38 relevant positions at Deutsche Telekom in 2018. The first graduates will complete the program at the start of 2019. To help them integrate into the professional world for good, at the end of 2018 we gave the first cohort the unprecedented opportunity to take the “Fit for the German labor market” training course. Those who pass this course also receive a TÜV certificate. In 2018, we received the HR Excellence Award for innovative lighthouse projects in human resources management for our "Internship PLUS direct entry" program.

Scholarships open up opportunities
As a sponsor of the “Welcome” grant program initiated by the Deutsche Universitätsstiftung, we help those who have taken refuge in Germany gain academic qualifications. The program offers refugee students in Germany one-on-one counseling with a lecturer from their field of study who lives near their university.

Handbook Germany – the A to Z of life in Germany
Refugees and anyone new to Germany can find information about living, studying, and working in Germany at Handbook Germany emerged from the refugee portal we launched in 2015 in collaboration with the Federal Chancellery and Neue Deutsche Medienmacher (New German Media Professionals). Information is currently offered in seven languages, with Pashto (spoken in Afghanistan/Pakistan), French and Turkish joining German, Arabic, English, and Farsi in 2018. The site thus provides the majority of the asylum seekers from the top ten countries of origin in 2017 with reliable information in their mother tongues or the common official/commercial languages used in their home countries. Deutsche Telekom supports the site’s editing team in its capacity as technology partner. In 2018, Handbook Germany was presented with the Bronze German Digital Award in the category of Branded Content – Content Platforms / Digital Magazines. It also won the German Award for Online Communication in the Corporate Responsibility category.

Support for refugees

Handbook Germany: Winner of the Bronze German Digital Award in the category of Branded Content – Content Platforms / Digital Magazines and the German Award for Online Communication in the Corporate Responsibility category. Internship PLUS direct entry – presented with the HR Excellence Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category.
Wi-Fi provision
By the end of 2018, 56 free Wi-Fi hotspots had been set up in refugee reception centers.
Some 34 Deutsche Telekom buildings provided for use by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.
Training offers
Up to 100 entry-level training schemes, training positions, and cooperative Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. More than 100 paid internships offered across Germany and in different Group companies.
"Internship PLUS direct entry”
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
A technology partnership for the Handbook Germany refugee portal that offers information on the asylum process and life and work in Germany. Information in Pashto (Afghanistan/Pakistan), French and Turkish was added in 2018. The portal is now available in seven languages.
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. By the end of 2018, 112 Deutsche Telekom employees had given refugees support as German language tutors.
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Barbara Costanzo

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Barbara Costanzo