In 2021, Gaurav Kumar from India fulfilled his dream of working in Germany. Today he has recognition of his professional training and is working as a motor vehicle mechatronics technician for a business in Bielefeld.
“For me, recognition is the greatest success in my life so far.”
“I had dreamt of living and working in Germany for a long time,” explains 26-year-old Gaurav Kumar from India. For the trained motor vehicle mechatronics technician, Germany is the pinnacle in terms of technology and motor vehicles. Following his training, and with a few years of professional experience, he therefore made the decision to go to Germany. “Germany gives me lots of opportunities for my own career development. This was why I just had to come here.” He used online job sites to look for an appropriate employer, and he found one very quickly. A garage in Hesse needed a skilled worker in the area of mechatronics. Gaurav Kumar wrote to the company and shortly afterwards received an invite to an online interview. Up to this point the young man from India had managed everything on his own without speaking a word of German. He also didn't seek help with recognition initially. With authorisation from Gaurav Kumar, his new employer applied for recognition in May 2018 to the Kassel Chamber of Crafts and Trades. Three months later, Gaurav Kumar received notice of partial recognition of his professional qualification. However, neither Gaurav Kumar nor his employer knew what to do next.
Gaurav Kumar therefore contacted the ProRecognition Project which currently provides advice on recognition in 10 countries at German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK). The enquiry from Gaurav Kumar came as no surprise for the advisory centre in Pune. India. “When it comes to recognition, lots of people seeking advice try to run before they can walk. They first look for a job and only then realise they need recognition,” explains Sapna Bhosle. She is one of two advisers who gave Gaurav Kumar a great deal of support as he continued with the process. In order to achieve full recognition, Gaurav Kumar had to complete refresher training in the form of a four-month placement. ProRecognition advised the employer on preparing the continuing vocational training agreement. Gaurav Kumar also received help in obtaining the documents needed for his visa, which proved a difficult task. “Up to that point we had not had much experience of people seeking advice who had completed training in the skilled trades sector. Most of the people seeking advice in India are academics,” explains Isabell Jenninger from ProRecognition.
With a visa and an employment contract, Gaurav Kumar finally began his placement in Germany in April 2019. However, the placement ended after just four weeks. This was because Gaurav Kumar had not done what his adviser had strongly recommended . He had not learned German. It was not possible to work in the company this way. Looking back, Gaurav Kumar believes that “without further advice from ProRecognition I would not be here today. I should have learned German a lot earlier. My tip for everybody who wants to work in Germany is to learn German first!”
“Back then I was really disappointed that it hadn't worked out,” remembers Gaurav Kumar. He went back to India and did not initially contact his advisers. However, they did not give up on him so quickly. “We offered him further support. With his partial recognition he had already achieved so much. We told him that, and explained to him that it was mainly his German language skills which were the problem. But he was able to work on this,” explains Sapna Bhosle. Following this, Gaurav Kuma then learned German at the Goethe-Institut and achieved language level A2. He also found a new employer in Germany. This was Scania Vertrieb und Service GmbH in Bielefeld.
And they were quickly impressed by the Indian motor vehicle mechatronics technician. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic it took a long time before all of the necessary documents were available. This meant that Gaurav Kumar was not able to continue with his placement in Bielefeld until January 2021. For him, the initial weeks were a massive learning process. “I had never seen much of the equipment and many of the tools before. The technical level in this sector in Germany is much higher than in my home country.” However Gaurav Kumar learned quickly. After a few weeks of settling in he was completing his tasks independently and within the time required – and to the full satisfaction of his employer. The business needs more people like him, says his boss. Gaurav Kumar is delighted at this assessment of his work.
In April 2021, he submitted a follow-up application for recognition. In June he finally achieved full recognition – the goal he had been aiming for over such a long time. “There are no words to describe it. It's the greatest success of my life. It's made me much more confident in my career and as a person. It has shown me that I can achieve my goals,” says Gaurav Kumar with delight. And he has already set himself new ones. “I really want to achieve language level B1. That will give me a permanent residence permit. One thing I have realised with recognition is that my future is in Germany.”
The conversation with Gaurav Kumar took place in November 2021. ProRecognition at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and the Kassel Chamber of Crafts and Trades advised him on and supported him with the recognition procedure.
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You have to make your professional recognition step by step and in the right order.
My name is Gaurav Kumar and I’m a motor vehicle mechatronics technician.
I’ve learned the profession in India. But Germany is famous for its cars.
To work here and to improve myself: That was my dream.
I looked for an employer in Germany and applied for recognition.
Unfortunately I only received partial recognition.
I asked ProRecognition what I could do with that.
We’re from the Indian ProRecognition team and are based at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in Pune.
From here we advise skilled workers on all questions relating to recognition and we support them as they go through the process of migrating to Germany.
For Mr Kumar, we identified he had to do refresher training. A four-month placement at a business in Germany.
I thought to myself, no problem. After all, I’m good at my job.
We then advised Mr Kumar and his employer on preparing a training plan and helped with the visa application.
I totally underestimated the problem with the language.
With the visa, I travelled to Germany immediately. It’ll all work out, I thought to myself.
Unfortunately it didn’t. Without the language skills, it’s hard to work here.
So I returned to India but I did not want to give up.
I knew I had to learn German. That’s what ProRecognition had recommended.
Gaurav Kumar had shown me he was really interested in Scania. And that he had a plan.
We had a look. Did we want to support him in his endeavours? We decided we did.
Everything did work out second time round. And we’re pleased too.
I’ve now been at Scania for one year. I got the recognition and I have a permanent contract.
He’s integrated really well and is part of the team. We’re impressed with every aspect of his assembly work. We’re very happy with him.
The people here love their work and the teamwork is great. And my teammates really support me a lot.
I made things harder for myself than they needed to be.
My tip for anyone wanting to apply for recognition:
Definitely get advice first before you start recognition!
And start to learn German! Then, everything becomes possible.
Start your own success story and talk about it.
Anerkennung in Deutschland
More success stories and information at www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de
My procedure in brief
- Gaurav Kumar completes training as a motor vehicle mechatronics technician in India and over a number of years gains professional experience in his home country.
- In December 2017, Gaurav Kumar finds a vacancy at a workshop in Hesse via an online job site. He writes to the company and an online interview takes place shortly afterwards.
- With Gaurav Kumar’s authorisation, the company applies for recognition of his professional qualification in May 2018 to the Kassel Chamber of Crafts and Trades. Gaurav Kumar receives partial recognition three months later. He contacts ProRecognition India where he is advised on training and entry.
- For full recognition, Gaurav Kumar needs to complete refresher training in the form of a four-month refresher training course. He does not speak German so his placement ends after just four weeks.
- Gaurav Kumar returns to India and learns German up to level A2 at the Goethe-Institut. In August 2019 he finds a new job with Scania Vertrieb und Service GmbH.
- With the help of ProRecognition he gets together all the documents he needs and continues with his refresher training in April 2021. In June 2021, he receives full recognition. He now works as a motor vehicle mechatronics technician at Scania in Bielefeld.