Fernando Llusiá de Castro came to Germany in October 2014 having failed to secure a job in Spain upon completion of his degree studies in Civil Engineering. Thanks to the recognition of his qualification, he has been working as a construction engineer.
„What recognition means for me being able to work in Germany as a construction engineer having completed a degree in Civil Engineering."
Having completed a degree in Civil Engineering, Fernando Llusiá de Castro was unable to find a job that was suitable for his qualification in Spain. When he heard that Germany was looking for engineers, he was strongly tempted to enter working life there. An old friend from Spain, who lives on his home island of Tenerife, ultimately encouraged him to make the move. And 26-year old Fernando needed no second bidding: "I'm a straightforward kind of person, as adaptable as a chameleon, my father always says".
When he first arrived in Halle an der Saale in October 2014, his primary focus was to learn the language. He attended an intensive German course at an adult education centre, and this turned out to be a good decision not only in terms of progressing his learning. His German teacher provided him with the contact details for the South Saxony Anhalt IQ Service Agency for Professional Recognition and Qualification Guidance. This body is housed at at development association run by the Workers' Welfare Association (AWO SPI Soziale Stadt und Land Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH) and is one of the many regional counselling centres operated by the national funding programme "Integration through qualification (IQ)".
Project staff member Mathias Kanigowski explained the recognition process to Fernando. He also indicated the further possible training routes that could follow and continued to offer guidance and support during the recognition procedure itself. "Mr. Kanigowski was a great help to me," relates Fernando Llusiá de Castro. "I had initial difficulties both with the language and the bureaucratic process".
The first step was to obtain translations of the necessary documentation relating to his degree studies. He then sent these papers off to the Chamber of Engineers in Saxony Anhalt together with his completed recognition application. Whilst the recognition procedure was still ongoing, Fernando applied for a job at the company Bau und Haustechnik Bad Düben. Although his interview went very well, he still needed an official recognition notice in order to be employed as a construction engineer. However, this was a process which was to take some time. Fernando was also required to pay a fee of 250 Euro for the recognition of his professional title, and this was money which he did not currently have. "This payment was the biggest challenge I faced in the whole of the process," he admits. The Job Centre came to his assistance by paying the costs of the recognition procedure. This further delayed matters because another application needed to be submitted in this regard. Fortunately, the company to which he had applied was prepared to wait. After a total of three months, the procedure was concluded and Fernando Llusiá de Castro's engineering degree was accorded full equivalence in May 2015.
"I presented this to the company Bau und Haustechnik Bad Düben and got the job. Things could not have been any simpler!" Fernando is fired with enthusiasm because his hopes of finding employment as quickly as possible have been fulfilled. He does not believe that this is a matter of course in a foreign country, especially for someone who has not been able to gain any prior professional experience. The fact that he really enjoys his job makes him even more satisfied. "I've got my own office at the company's headquarters. There is a good staff atmosphere, and I hope to be able to expand my professional experience by continuing to work on a wide range of projects.
Fernando Llusiá de Castro's private life is also anything but boring. Membership of a squash club has already brought him many new friends. The only downside is that his family is still in Spain, and he uses his holiday to fly to his old homeland.
The interview with Fernando Llusiá de Castro was conducted in December 2015. He was advised and supported in the recognition of his qualification by the South Saxony Anhalt IQ Service Agency for Professional Recognition and Qualification Guidance.