Iranian-born Amir Hossein left his home country and fled to Germany in 2014. In November 2015, he obtained recognition of his engineering degree.
In his home country of Iran, 36-year old Amir Hossein Welk was his own boss and earned good money. He had completed a degree in Electrical Engineering at the Islamic Azad University and, after a long period as an inspector and project manager, he had gone on to set up his own company. When Amir fled his home country in 2014, he was forced to leave everything behind and make a completely fresh start in Germany. “It was hard to begin a new life here because of the language, because of the work and because everything is different to my home country. I had no idea how things work here.”
Amir needed to overcome several hurdles. Alongside the language, the main challenges he faced were the lack of any professional prospects and the financial situation. But he set about making a success of things. Amir learned German with the help of his wife and reached level B1. He passed his driving test and found a job in the production department of a wine company. However, he never lost sight of his actual goal. “The most important thing for me was to get a job as an engineer in Germany.”
At the Job Centre in Cochem, Amir learned that in order to achieve his aim he would need to obtain recognition of his higher education qualification. The advisor at the Job Centre put him in touch with the Rhineland Palatinate Chamber of Engineers. In April 2015, he submitted an application for recognition of his engineering degree to the chamber. Amir funded the costs of the procedure himself. “200 euro is a lot of money if you’re not earning much, but you need to save up. It’s all worthwhile if you are able to gain recognition .” On 5 November 2015, Amir received recognition as an engineer.
All his efforts had paid off. “My university qualification was checked, and then I was given full recognition. I didn’t need to do continuing training or anything like that.” Despite this, Amir took part in a four week engineering training course in 2016. This was financed by the Rhineland Palatinate IQ Network and staged in conjunction with the Rhineland Palatinate Chamber of Engineers and the Academy of Engineers, the project partner of the IQ Network. This turned out to be a fortuitous move. Amir emerged as the best participant in the course and also met his current boss at the closing event.
Since February 2017, Amir Hossein Welk has been working as an engineer at a firm specialising in the planning of technical building equipment. “I’m happy to have found this job, and I don’t mind the 270-kilometre round-trip commute to the office,” says Amir, who has also just become a father.
The interview with Amir Welk took place in October 2017.