An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training Further info
Harvey Rawlings, Vehicle mechatronics technician

Recog­ni­tion means I now al­so have con­fir­ma­tion of my skills on pa­per.

When Englishman Harvey Rawlings arrived in Germany in 2011, he worked to start with as a holiday worker. Following recognition of his training as a vehicle mechatronics technician, he found a position in line with the qualification he had trained in.

My advice
It is very im­por­tant to learn Ger­man. The lan­guage makes a lot of things eas­i­er.
Profile
Name
Harvey Rawlings
Age
25
Reference occupation
Vehicle mechatronics technician
Country of origin of qualification
England
Current job
Fitter and operator of computer-controlled machines

My story

In March 2011, Harvey Rawlings moved from Bridport in southern England to Germany. At the time, his wife was studying in Augsburg. “Of course, I wanted to find a job as quickly as possible in the occupational field I had trained in,” explains the 25-year-old vehicle mechatronics technician. At home in England, he had already worked for two and a half years as a vehicle mechatronics technician in his family's business in the south-west of England.

“Having arrived in Germany, my suspicions were confirmed that getting a job straight away might not be quite so easy,” explains Harvey Rawlings. He therefore tried to get his foot in the door with a holiday job. He managed this really quickly with Magnet-Schultz, a company based in Memmingen which manufacturers electromagnetic actuators and sensors, while at the same time also attending two language courses. “Following the holiday job I was taken on immediately and fortunately had opportunities for advancement straight away. Despite this, the works council advised me to go through the recognition procedure to be on the safe side for the future. In Germany there is a lot of emphasis on having your skills confirmed on paper,” explains Harvey Rawlings.

In April 2012, Harvey Rawlings submitted an application for recognition of his English qualification “Vehicle maintenance and repair of light vehicles levels 2 & 3”. By researching on the internet he found out that he had to send his documents to the Swabia Chamber of Crafts and Trades in Augsburg. “They needed the list of my completed training courses and previous employment, my foreign training certificates, the general training plan and all documents translated into German.”

The Recognition act had just come into force in April 2012 and the structures in the Chambers of Crafts and Trades were brand new—but there were no problems. Harvey Rawlings didn't have to complete refresher training or placements either. “I immediately received confirmation of full equivalence as a vehicle mechatronics technician,” explains the Englishman. That was September 2012. His boss had already offered him a permanent position as an operator in August and did not make his appointment dependent on the recognition notice. Harvey Rawlings has now worked his way up to a fitter. His main task involves operating a computer using a specialist design programme which in turn controls a large laser.

Even though professionally Harvey Rawlings has been very successful in Germany, he is playing it safe with the recognition notice “You can never rule out losing your job through no fault of your own and having to apply again. The recognition gives me and my family security.”

The conversation with Harvey Rawlings took place in November 2014.

My procedure in brief

  1. In March 2011, Harvey Rawlings arrives in Germany from England. He has training and more than 2 year’s professional experience as a motor vehicle mechatronics technician.
  2. He finds a holiday job with a manufacturer of electromagnets in Memmingen. He also completes two language courses.
  3. The works council advises Harvey Rawlings to have his training recognised. He then applies for recognition to the Chamber of Crafts and Trades in Augsburg in April 2012.
  4. In September 2012 he receives full recognition as a vehicle mechatronics technician.
  5. Harvey Rawlings now has a permanent position with this company. And he has returned to working in the occupation he trained for.