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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

Refugee aid: integration into work, integration into society KPI

Our contribution to the SDGs

Deutsche Telekom’s commitment to refugees started in 2015 as a humanitarian aid task force with the following measures:

  • Free Wi-Fi hotspots img in first aid facilities
  • Deutsche Telekom buildings provided for use by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
  • Deployment of staff at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
  • Support for private volunteer work by employees

In 2016, the first-aid initiative developed into the “Deutsche Telekom helps refugees” project, which aims to integrate refugees into the labor market.

Promoting long-term integration
In 2019, 450 positions were filled with refugees at Deutsche Telekom and partner companies – in the form of internships, as part of a training program, in the “Internship PLUS Direct Entry” program, or in permanent positions.

56 refugees who have previously completed a program at Deutsche Telekom were able to take up subsequent employment at Deutsche Telekom or a partner company of Deutsche Telekom. They will have, for example, switched to vocational training or a cooperative study program following an internship, or entered into permanent employment after their training.

In 2019, the first participants also successfully completed the "Internship PLUS Direct Entry" program. More than 70 percent of them switched to long-term follow-up employment. “Internship PLUS direct entry” is a program that was launched by Deutsche Telekom in 2016 in cooperation with the Federal Employment Agency, Deutsche Post DHL Group, and Henkel. A three to six-month orientation phase was followed by a two-year employment contract. In 2018, we continued and further developed the program for Deutsche Telekom. We created new jobs in areas with an especially high demand for staff, such as technical and customer service. The program will continue to run until 2021. In 2018, we received the “HR Excellence Award” for the “Internship PLUS direct entry” program for innovative flagship projects in human resources management in the Group Corporate Social Responsibility category.

We also created internship positions for refugees in 2019 with the aim of providing them with their first step into the German working world. Many of these positions were awarded through applicant days, at which the focus was on getting to know each other, not on querying prior experience or looking at certificates.

In 2019, Deutsche Telekom again supported its employees in their volunteer refugee work, for example, in cooperation with Volunteer Vision in the eStart program. At the end of the year, 150 Deutsche Telekom employees acted as language tutors to help refugees learn German.

Over the last few years, we have gained a lot of experience in integrating refugees into the labor market. This has been incorporated into our standard HR procedures, helping to create a sustainable basis for integrating refugees into our company. At the end of 2019, we were able to stop using the special processes created to integrate refugees.

Information about Germany: Handbook Germany
Refugees and anyone new to Germany can find information about living, studying, and working in the Handbook Germany. The handbook emerged from the refugee portal we launched in 2015 in collaboration with the Federal Chancellery, Adobe, and Neue Deutsche Medienmacher (New German Media Professionals). Information is currently offered in seven languages, with Pashto (spoken in Afghanistan/Pakistan), French, and Turkish alongside German, Arabic, English, and Farsi. Deutsche Telekom supports the site’s editing team in its capacity as technology partner. Handbook Germany was distinguished once again in 2019, this time with the "Smart Hero Award" in the Diversity and Equal Opportunity category awarded by the foundation “Stiftung Digitale Chancen”.

Barbara Costanzo

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Barbara Costanzo