Paper and printer missing: the bumpy transition for refugees to the employment center in Stuttgart – Stuttgart

There are plenty of activities at the Arrival Ukraine Access Center in Stuttgart on Heilbronner Strasse. Photo: Lichtgut / Max Kovalenko

The refugees will be sponsored by the employment centers from the beginning of June. This has a number of advantages for those affected. But it is questionable whether everyone benefits equally. There is a bump when it comes to issuing the necessary documents: there is a shortage of paper, printers and staff.

A few weeks ago, the federal government decided that refugees from Ukraine should receive basic security in the future. The change from the Asylum Seeker Benefits Act to the Hartz IV system has a number of advantages for those affected. However, these things will likely not benefit everyone in Stuttgart at the beginning of June. Many Ukrainians still lack the necessary so-called fictitious certificate, which is proof of the right to temporary residence.

Moving to an employment welfare center improves the situation for refugees: they get a little more money than they receive under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, they can attend language courses and work, and they have health insurance on their own. But despite the city accelerating the pace of issuing bogus certificates in the past few days, many still lack the necessary paperwork a few days before the deadline.

Half of them are still without a certificate

Of the 6,381 refugees from Ukraine housed in Stuttgart at the start of the week (6,902 have arrived so far, but 521 have already moved), 3,573 had so-called fictitious testimony. There is still a lot to be done before the change at the beginning of June. Whether all the remaining 2,808 people will receive their diploma in time is somewhat doubtful.

The city says they are “aware of the problem” and are working “at full speed on the issuance of the bogus certificates”. The Immigration Office, which has long been understaffed and whose positions have not been filled, has received support from traffic control and from employees of the Naturalization Department. For this reason, there is currently no “processing of naturalization applications”.

There is a shortage of staff, paper and printers

The understaffing when issuing bogus certificates is not the only problem. City spokesman Sven Mattis explains that the Federal Printing Office, whose official forms for certificates must be used, is “currently experiencing significant delivery issues.” The process also requires special printers and trained personnel. Only: “There is currently a shortage of forms, printers and staff,” a city spokesperson said. To make progress however, immigration authorities issue so-called news papers, which are easier and faster.

The consequence of the delay will be that all refugees who do not have such a certificate on June 1 will continue to be treated in accordance with the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act. If they then get their papers in June, according to the city, “these people will switch to Basic Security in the month following the issue month.”

Job seekers will have to wait

The Employment Agency in Stuttgart is showing the effects it is already having on some refugees. So far, 60 refugees have been registered there in search of work, says Katerina Knaus, an immigration official at Stuttgart. “And the number is increasing every day.” These are professionals who either have completed a degree or have professional experience. They wanted to work right away. Almost half of them are looking for short-term work because they hope to be able to return to Ukraine as soon as possible, while the other half are interested in long-term jobs because they assume that a lot has been destroyed in their homeland.

There are also jobs for some applicants, the immigration official explains, for example because they don’t need any knowledge of German, there are translators there or they speak Ukrainian as well. However, it has not yet been possible to place these refugees for “official reasons” because “the fictitious certificate is missing”. Katrina Knauss explains that you are dealing with a “special situation in Stuttgart”. In the district of Böblingen, for example, which also belongs to the district of the Stuttgart Agency, the administration is already working on “mock certification”, says Knaus. “People can attend German courses there or work there.”

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