Refugees in Hamburg: How Ukrainians find a job in the city

Hamburg. They waited patiently in the rain on the sidewalk in front of the 3G entrance control: 500 people from Ukraine, mostly women, met Thursday morning at Hamburg Chamber of Commerce Informed of job opportunities as well as offers of support and advice in the Encounter Market.

About 30 companies, including restaurant chain block houseHotel Baseler Hof and retailer Edeka set up their stands in the chamber’s stock exchange hall, as did the Ukrainian assistant staff, Diakonisches Werk and Sprachbrücke Hamburg, among others.

Refugees in Hamburg: a marketplace is not just an exchange of work

The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Norbert Ost, was accompanied on a “market” tour by Social Senator Melanie Leonard (SPD) and Speaker of Parliament, Carola Fett (SPD). “With this event, we want to bring together those who seek protection with offers of assistance and businesses in an uncomplicated way in order to make Hamburg as easy as possible,” Ost said.

He did not want the market to be seen primarily as a job-sharing for permanent job opportunities, as most refugees would like to return to their home country as quickly as possible. It’s mainly about short-term jobs that allow people to take care of themselves until then.

Refugees can boost Hamburg’s economy

“If you see interest in this event, we should consider another date,” Ost said. Ukrainian Consul General Irina Tibinka had to cancel due to illness. She had previously indicated that many of the refugees were highly educated and highly qualified workers who could use their services to boost Hamburg’s economy.

Hamburg has so far taken in more than 20,000 Ukrainians who fled the war, most of them women. The longer the war drags on, the more important will be integration into the labor market. What are the job requirements? How is the state of Hamburg’s economy? Where are there vacancies? Can young people start vocational training? The most important answers for refugees and their helpers.

How many vacancies are there currently in Hamburg?

There are 12,300 good job vacancies at the Employment Agency in Hamburg alone. That was about a third more than a year ago. About 2,700 jobs are created in transportation, logistics and security services, 2,500 are in industry and 1,500 are in health, social affairs and education. In fact, there are likely to be more jobs in Hamburg waiting for applicants because not all employers report their vacancies to the employment agency.

In which specific occupations are there vacancies currently?

Just a few examples: 740 professionals and assistants can immediately start stockpiling. There are 340 job openings in property and personal security. 200 professional drivers are searched according to the job guide of the recruitment agency. 170 plumbers can work in the plumbing and heating occupations. 131 chefs and 72 assistants are required in this area. In the cleaning industry, there are 120 vacancies for assistant jobs and 83 jobs for professionals. There are also jobs for 110 painters in Hamburg. There are 148 vacancies in childcare.

How interested are Ukrainian women in getting a job?

The Chamber of Crafts in Hamburg records many inquiries. “They get us mainly from fellow volunteers,” says a spokeswoman for the craft room. “In our companies, the cooperation of multinational teams with a multicultural background is part of everyday life,” says Hjalmar Stemmann, Head of the Chamber of Crafts in Hamburg.

“It works especially well when everyone speaks a common language. So learning German is the best investment for a good start in a craft business.” The Chamber of Commerce also stresses the importance of language skills. “A lot of well-qualified people come to Germany with Ukrainian refugees. . In Hamburg, skilled workers are needed in a variety of economic sectors,” says a spokeswoman for the Chamber of Commerce.

First and foremost, it is about advice and humanitarian aid. Sönke Fock of the Hamburg Employment Agency notes that mainly women have run away, and many of them have to take care of their children first. “Employment agencies or their service centers in Hamburg and northern Germany received few inquiries from Ukrainian refugee nationals who specifically asked about job offers, language courses or vocational training.”

However, it is clear that Ukrainian refugees have access to all services of employment agencies. Usage is likely to increase in the next few months and depends on the integration of children into day care centers and schools. About 2,000 Ukrainians currently work in Hamburg and are subject to social security contributions.

What are the requirements to start a business?

Refugees from Ukraine can get work immediately, but permission from immigration authorities is required. “With the temporary certificate, the so-called mock certificate, on the right of residence in accordance with Article 24 Paragraph 1 of the Residence Act, people also obtain permission to work from the responsible aliens authority,” a spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Labor said.

This certificate links the right to reside until the actual residence permit is issued and must contain an entry “permitted to work”. This means that you can pursue any job in Germany, i.e. take up work subject to social security contributions, be self-employed or start an apprenticeship. But for some professions such as doctors, teachers or educators, there are restrictions on professional access.

Are there time limits?

The rules apply to all Ukrainians who entered the country after January 24, 2022. But they also apply to people who fled Ukraine before February 24 or were in the territory of the European Union and cannot return because of the war.

In the case of Ukrainians who register early, it is possible that they do not have a work permit yet. You can get this compensation at the immigration office. According to the internal Hamburg authorities, about 80 percent of Ukrainian refugees are already registered in Hamburg, which means they have a work permit.

How can degrees be recognized from Ukraine?

On the basis of the Recognition Act (Professional Qualifications Evaluation Act – BQFG), state-recognized qualifications in Ukraine that are comparable to the German profession can also be officially recognized. However, depending on the profession, different bodies are responsible for recognition. The Chamber of Crafts recognition office examines how foreign qualifications can be compared with domestic professional qualifications.

It also implements procedures for recognition of technical qualifications. “If you look at the professions of women with foreign qualifications recognized by us to date, hairdressers, beauticians, bakers, confectioners, dental technicians and opticians predominate,” says a spokeswoman for the Crafts Chamber.

Can Ukrainian refugees start vocational training?

In principle, the only requirement for dual training is a work permit. A specific school leaving certificate is not required. However, school lessons, intermediate and final exams are held in German. “In this regard, experience has shown that a language level B2 is essential for successful training,” says a spokeswoman for the Chamber of Commerce.

The craft room also refers to this requirement. At language level B2, you can understand key data for more complex issues and communicate well in your area of ​​expertise. Active vocabulary is sufficient for easy conversations with native speakers. Training in many professions begins on August 1 or September 1 and lasts between two and three years.

If your language skills are not quite up to par, you can still start an apprenticeship. “An introductory measure in the form of an EQ is ideal for this,” says a Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman. This six to twelve month internship in the lead up to the actual training is also available with special language support for immigrants.

The Association for the Promotion of Business Training in Hamburg ( will help determine the placement. Anyone receiving training can change their residence permit in accordance with § 16a of the Residence Act (for the purpose of vocational training and for the duration of the vocational training). You must apply for this at the immigration office.

Updated: Fri 08/04/2022 06:13

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