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Algeria takes positive stock

Increase in skilled workers thanks to recognition guidance from ProRecognition

Sofiane Ramdani is a recognition adviser at ProRecognition in Algiers. In the interview he explains how 20 skilled workers from Algeria were still able to travel into Germany since the beginning of the year despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the coronavirus you have helped more than 20 skilled workers reach Germany already this year. How would you evaluate this success?

Sofiane Ramdani: The interest of Algerian skilled workers in recognition guidance at ProRecognition is still high and continues to rise despite the coronavirus. We adapted the guidance to the situation, for example we now run workshops online and exclusively according to occupation group. At this point we check who has a good chance of successful recognition and should be given a more detailed initial advisory session.

What would you say are the success factors?

Sofiane Ramdani: German language skills are very important for the skilled workers. It increases the chances of professional success. Skilled workers with good German language skills receive job offers more often and apply more often for recognition. And this then increases the number of approved visas. It’s working marvellously although everyone is at home. We were also able to intensify our work with the German embassy. It’s important to have strong local partners able to make skilled workers aware of the guidance offered by ProRecognition.

To what extent has the Skilled Immigration Act affected your guidance?

Sofiane Ramdani: The Skilled Immigration Act gives all skilled workers with a vocational qualification the chance to work in Germany. Now more people with completed vocational education and training are coming to us for advice. Over a third of the people who have received a visa this year have a vocational qualification. Among them are computer technicians, plant mechanics or care workers. The range of support and guidance we offer had to be expanded accordingly. Our advertising was adapted and oriented to the new target group, because Algerians always assume that working in Germany is only open to academics and skilled workers in shortage occupations.

The network in Germany has also grown. This is how we have many new contacts in Germany, e.g. the IHK FOSA, the chambers of crafts and trades and other responsible bodies as well as the Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA). This is a massive help when it comes to questions about the procedure, but also for further assistance in the case of partial recognition and searching for the right refresher training for our skilled workers. Contact to the IQ networks is in this case very important.

How were the skilled workers able to find a job in Germany despite the coronavirus?

Sofiane Ramdani: From where we’re standing, the coronavirus pandemic only curbed the need for skilled workers temporarily. There is still a huge demand in the healthcare sector. In the current group we have a male general nurse who achieved German B1 level in Algeria. He will be working as a care assistant until he has achieved B2 via a language course. Only then will he be employed as a general nurse. We continued to advise him following recognition and explained what the training entailed.

As I said, we support our skilled workers even after recognition. We help with the job search by referring them to the International and Specialised Services of the Federal Employment Agency or to relevant job portals. In some cases we take a look at job applications, help prepare for the interview, or help with making appointments with the visa authorities. Whatever it is, the path to Germany is usually not finished after achieving recognition. For the local skilled workers it is extremely important that they continue to have a contact. Showing each individual that they are important and will be professionally helped by us – that is our objective.

Do you know if the skilled workers have already settled into their new life in Germany?

Sofiane Ramdani: Yes, we are still in contact with almost all of our “protégés”. They are doing well. They are looking forward to getting to know their new home under “normal” circumstances soon. We are also available to help after they have successfully started a job and we connect those we have advised to each other in Germany. Then they can talk about their experiences in the new country and support each other. This is what happened to the general nurse I mentioned – he quickly found his feet in his new home in Hesse thanks to contact with other ProRecognition skilled workers. We want to involve migration and integration organisations in the future.

The interview with Sofiane Ramdani took place in May 2021. He advises local skilled workers on the possibilities of professional recognition for the ProRecognition project, which started in 2015, at the AHK Algeria. Since 2018 Algeria has been part of the project and is, according to guidance statistics and recognition applications, one of the top advisory centres. So far 284 applications for recognition have been made. 213 skilled workers have already received a positive notice. Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and run by the DIHK Service GmbH and the local chambers of commerce, the ProRecognition project is also represented in Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, India, Iran, Italy, Colombia, Poland, and Vietnam.

Key information about responsibility for, and providing details on, the recognition procedure e.g. for the reference occupation General nurse” is provided in the Profi-Filter and the Recognition Finder in this portal.