An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Shadi Hajjo, Electronics technician specialising in information and telecommunications technology

Recog­ni­tion gives me se­cu­ri­ty in my life.

In 2015, Shadi Hajjo fled with his family from Syria. A skills analysis meant it was possible to determine his professional skills. Today he works as an electronics technician specialising in information and telecommunications technology.

My advice
It is im­por­tant to learn Ger­man first. And be pa­tient. It will all fall in­to place.
Shadi Hajjo
Reference occupation
Electronics technician specialising in information and telecommunications technology
Country of origin of qualification
Current job
Electronics technician specialising in information and telecommunications technology

My story

“Recognition made an immediate difference to my professional position. Previously I wasn't able to take charge of a site on my own or drive to customers. Today I can do all this on my own. It feels good.”

German technology working perfectly even after 40 years – this is what impressed Syrian Shadi Hajjo in his work. In 2015, the trained electrician had to flee Syria. His wife and four sons followed him one year later. They had one destination in mind: Germany. To start with they lived here in refugee accommodation. Shadi Hajjo spent nine months learning German up to level B1 on a German language course. The family eventually moved to Rhauderfehn in Eastern Friesland (Lower Saxony). This was a stroke of luck for him as it was here that he met Ernst Klausen. Ernst provides voluntary support for the refugee community. “I explained my situation to him and asked whether my certificates might be comparable with the German certificates. At that point I didn't even know if anything like recognition even existed,” explains Shadi Hajjo. 

In February 2017, Shadi Hajjo had a consultation appointment arranged with Lower Saxony Network IQ. Here he was helped by the adviser Ilse Varchmin. She organised an appointment with the Aurich Chamber of Crafts and Trades. Ilse Varchim also told Shadi Hajjo about the documents which were required. Shadi Hajjo was the first applicant the Chamber of Crafts and Trades had had from Syria. It wasn’t therefore clear whether his professional training could be recognised. This is because in Germany there is no general electronics specialism. There are different and specialist areas within the discipline such as automation and systems technology or energy and building technology. In Syria, Shadi Hajjo had worked for 25 years with telephone systems, safety technology and alarm systems. At this point in time, these areas of work matched the German specialism of information and telecommunications technology. The Recognition Finder offers an overview of current areas of specialism for electronics technicians.

Shadi Hajjo started to prepare his documents for recognition. For this he needed to read through the German curriculum for information and telecommunications technology. And he had to think about which parts of this he was able to do. It took around three months because Ernst Klausen needed to explain everything to him in English. In July 2017, they were finally able to submit the documents for recognition. Due to fleeing Syria, his documents were not complete and therefore did not provide sufficient evidence of his training. The Chamber of Crafts and Trades needed more information. Shadi Hajjo was therefore required to complete a skills analysis with Sanderfeld, a company specialising in safety technology based in Leer, Germany. 

An "exploratory discussion" took place in order to prepare for the skills analysis. During this exploratory discussion, Shadi Hajjo provided answers to key questions and demonstrated his technical ability. He had to explain, for example, how and why devices were used. The outcome of the exploratory discussion was that Shadi Hajjo still needed 18 months of training in order to achieve full recognition of his qualification. The training in Syria had taken only two years, however the German training takes three and a half years. Shadi Hajjo had two options available to him. He could either complete this 18-month period in vocational school. Or he could have his professional experience taken into account and complete a skills analysis at a later date. This would comprise a work sample with a professional discussion at the level of journeyman. 

Shadi Hajjo opted for the skills analysis. However, beforehand he wanted to spend a year learning German in order to improve this even further and to expand his professional knowledge. Sandersfeld were happy to employ Shadi Hajjo. Thanks to the initial exploratory discussion in the business, his boss was aware of his capabilities. Shadi Hajjo started by completing a two-week placement, attended continuing vocational education training, and then worked as an assistant. “My boss prepared me really well for the skills analysis and explained what would happen. And that I didn't need to worry,” explains Shadi Hajjo. 

In January 2019 Shadi Hajjo successfully demonstrated his competencies in the skills analysis and received full recognition. Since then he's been working with Sandersfeld in Leer as a technician specialising in information and telecommunications technology. “I am very happy here. I get on really well with my colleagues. We are all a team. 

And my family and I are also very happy in Germany. We were given help right from the very start. We've made more German friends. We really have a life here now,” explains the man from Syria with delight. 

Please note: Following the restructuring in August 2021, the previous specialism of “information and telecommunications technology” has been incorporated within the occupation of “information electronics technician”.

The interview with Shadi Hajjo was conducted in April 2022. The Lower Saxony Network IQ advised and supported him in the recognition procedure.

My procedure in brief

  1. Shadi Hajjo worked in his home country of Syria as an electrician for 25 years. In 2015 he flees to Germany, initially alone. His family follows him in 2016. 
  2. Today the family lives in Lower Saxony. Shadi Hajjo meets Ernst Klausen who helps him on a voluntary basis with his recognition.
  3. Ilse Varchmin, an adviser at the Lower Saxony Network IQ, organises an interview at the Aurich Chamber of Crafts and Trades. Here, Shadi Hajjo finds out that his qualification in Germany matches the specialism of information and telecommunications technology. 
  4. In July 2017 Shadi Hajjo applies for recognition. According to the Chamber of Crafts and Trades, the documents are not sufficient for providing evidence of his training. The competent authority therefore recommends a skills analysis. This allows him to demonstrate his professional knowledge practically. 
  5. Shadi Hajjo answers technical questions in the exploratory discussion in preparation for the planned skills analysis. The result is that he lacks key knowledge needed for full equivalence. He is able to demonstrate this at a later point in time in a skills analysis – in the form of a work sample with a professional discussion
  6. Shadi Hajjo improves his German language skills and works as an assistant. After 18 months of working practice, Shadi Hajjo successfully completes the work sample with the specialist discussion. He receives full recognition. Today he works with the company Sandersfeld in Lower Saxony as an electrician specialising in information and telecommunications technology
Electronics technician in workshop hall
Förderprogramm Integration durch Qualifizierung (IQ), 2021

IQ dossier for electronics technicians

The current IQ dossier on professional recognition offers valuable tips on starting a career as an electronics technician.

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