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Turned down 800 instances: international graduate’s German dream shattered as COVID hits jobs By Reuters

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© Reuters. Syrian grasp of mechanical engineering Abdul Kader Tizini in Aachen

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By Riham Alkousaa

BERLIN (Reuters) – When Abdul Kader Tizini graduated with a grasp’s diploma in mechanical engineering from RWTH Aachen, certainly one of Germany’s high technical universities, he thought it will be a matter of weeks earlier than he landed his dream job.

Simply over a month later the coronavirus unfold to Germany, stopping a decade-long employment growth in its tracks.

Now, some 800 job functions and 80 interviews later, the 29-year-old Syrian remains to be in quest of work.

Being a foreigner was a drawback in getting employment in Europe’s largest financial system even earlier than the pandemic. It has grow to be extra of a barrier now there are fewer vacancies, Tizini stated.

“Firms suppose, ‘With a foreigner we’ll have to elucidate the concept twice, with a local solely as soon as’,” he instructed Reuters.

Hiring freezes and layoffs at 1000’s of German firms imply international graduates like Tizini face fierce competitors with native graduates and unemployed professionals.

In contrast to German and European Union nationals, who’re entitled to unemployment advantages and coronavirus support, many international graduates don’t qualify.

Tons of of 1000’s of worldwide college students have been drawn to Germany prior to now decade, inspired by a good but nearly free increased schooling system and robust post-graduation employment prospects.

The variety of worldwide college students in Germany rose by round 70% between 2009 and 2019, information from the Federal Statistics Workplace confirmed.

LANGUAGE, CULTURE BARRIER

Anja Robert, a profession adviser at RWTH Aachen, stated worldwide college students in Germany have been discovering it tougher to search out jobs than native Germans.

The demand for her staff’s counselling classes and for psychological help has risen since March, when Germany went into its first lockdown to battle the pandemic, she stated.

“In such insecure instances, one tends in the direction of security, counting on established language abilities, cultural traits and understanding.”

Germany’s unemployment charge rose to as a lot as 6.4% after the federal government imposed the primary lockdown, from 5% within the earlier months. It hit 6% in January this yr.

The pandemic’s affect on the German job market has been mitigated by the federal government’s “Kurzarbeit” scheme that enables employers to chop hours throughout an financial downturn. However it additionally makes hiring tougher.

Firms which are on the scheme can rent workers in distinctive instances if they’ve a compelling purpose, Ludwig Christian, a spokesman for the Federal Labour Workplace, stated.

Between April 2020 and January this yr, the variety of new vacancies in Germany fell by 430,000, or 26% year-on-year, Labour Workplace information confirmed.

DIGITAL NETWORKING

One other problem international college students face is a weaker skilled and social community, exacerbated by job gala’s and networking occasions being cancelled or moved on-line amid the pandemic.

“Digital networking is just tougher, particularly should you come from one other nation and you aren’t acquainted with how networking right here works,” stated Jana Koehler, a Berlin-based worldwide recruiter.

Two lockdowns in spring and winter final yr additionally shuttered eating places and retailers, which means 1000’s fewer part-time jobs which college students fill to help themselves financially.

Final April, the German authorities included foreigners in an interest-free mortgage programme for college students. Graduates, nevertheless, should not eligible.

Entry to unemployment support for international graduates can be conditional on residing in Germany for 5 years, which means many grasp’s graduates lose out.

Tizini has survived on month-to-month transfers from his brother.

After investing a lot time and greater than 10,000 euros ($12,032.00) to review in Germany, returning to Syria was not an choice.

“There isn’t any technique to stay however to attend for others’ assist. I’m giving all the things I can, however all in useless.”

($1 = 0.83 euros)