Mr. K., when did you come to Germany?
I came to Germany at the end of 2000, when I was 20. I had completed my training two years previously. In Turkey, I qualified as an industrial mechanic.
Were you able to continue to work in your occupation when you arrived in this country?
I tried to continue to work in my occupation for the first year. But I had no chance. Things were very difficult for me. I then worked for seven years as an industrial cleaner at a large power station. Of course, I didn’t earn much.
What happened next?
I managed to find a job in my occupation of industrial mechanic at a company in Bergheim. I worked there for almost 3 years, until 2010. There were redundancies at the company because of the economic crisis. I became unemployed and decided to get my training qualifications recognised in this country. The recognition laws were not, however, in place at that time. I found work as a mechanic via a temping agency, became unemployed again and moved onto the next temping agency.
When did you learn of the new law?
I first heard about the new law from a Turkish association which held an information event at Kerpen Town Hall in 2012. I went along to the event. The people there were very nice. A German member of staff helped me a great deal.
In 2012, you became unemployed again …
I sent out applications all over the place, but I was unable to get a job because I did not have any recognised training. And then I came to the decision for myself that I needed to get recognition for my qualifications in some way or another. I obtained the recognition paperwork from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Cologne and went to the Employment Agency. I told them that I could not get a job without a recognised vocational qualification.
What helped you in getting recognition for your occupation?
The Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Cologne was particularly helpful.
I sent the forms off, and they forwarded them to the IHK FOSA in Nuremberg, which is responsible for te recognition of foreign occupations. I then got some more letters and forms. I went to the Turkish Consulate again and to the Town Hall to have my diploma certified. Five months later, I received a telephone call from the IHK FOSA. They wanted a reference from my last employer.
I have now got my recognition. The costs of the recognition procedure were paid by the Employment Agency because I was on benefits at the time. My advisors said OK, we will pay. I wanted to work, but I couldn’t get a job without a recognised vocational qualification. I started work with a new company a week ago. I’m really happy with the job. It’s the best possible outcome for me.
Mr. K., thank you for the interview!
Ümit K. lives with his wife and their daughter in the Westerwald region. The interview was conducted in March 2013.
He received particular help and active support with his recognition procedure from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in Cologne.