Specialists without borders

Esteban has a quiet hand and a direct line to the customers. 2016 he dared to move from Spain to Germany and establish a career as an Electrician. Successfully: Since January 2019 the 24-year-old has been a permanent employee at the company Elektro Herrmann GmbH in Bergen.

For two years now Esteban Garcia Molina has been working for the Elektro Herrmann GmbH in Bergen, Lower Saxony. ‘I am very happy and content. I enjoy my job, my colleagues are all very nice and we live in a nice apartment near the company.’ There is only one issue the young man still cannot get used to: ‘In October it starts getting cold in Germany. When we are out on construction sites in winter, I have to dress up nice and warm to protect myself from the cold’, he laughs. Until 2016 Esteban lived in Getafe, Spain – a place that is a lot warmer than Germany. The temperatures climb up to more than 20 degrees Celsius there, even in October.

Getafe is also the place he completed his apprenticeship as an Electrician. ‘It is not easy to find a safe job. Professional prospects are very bad.’ Esteban decided to try his luck in Germany. Online he read about Piening who was looking for Spanish electricians for German customers. ‘The announcement sounded so good that I decided to apply right away. I didn’t think it would be this easy to find a job in the profession I learned.’ Before getting on a plane to Germany, Piening enabled him to take a 3-months language course at home. ‘When I arrived in Bergen I was able to talk to my colleagues in German. Piening really supported me well with the organization of it all.’

Piening supports integration

The shortage of professionals in Germany is constantly increasing. According to the employment agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) Germany is short of about 150.000 craft professionals. To fight this trend Piening recruits professionals from other European countries for their German customers. ‘There are many open positions that can be filled with foreign professionals. With us they receive a permanent job contract. Our goal is for the customer to take over the employee as one of their own after a maximum of 18 months’, explains Julia Behrens, HR Consultant at Piening.

Thanks to many years of experience in recruitment, Piening succeeds at finding qualified professionals for various lines of business. ‘It is great to see how our customers cross boundaries when it comes to recruiting new employees – like e.g. Elektro Herrmann GmbH, who we have collaborated with us for more than 10 years.’ In order for all three parties – customer, employee and Piening – to profit from each other, Julia Behrens and her colleagues assist throughout the whole process and answer to all questions and problems.

The newcomers get acquainted with the German bureaucracy – filling out forms, doing trips to the authorities and of course looking for an adequate apartment. ‘Also, we help out with the joining of our employee’s family because integration only works well when the immigrants feel at home in their new home’, Julia Behrens states.

Recognition of foreign professional qualifications

In contrast to Esteban an innumerable amount of immigrants work in jobs which do not correspond to their qualifications. Most of them are lacking the recognition of their professional or educational qualifications, which they have acquired in their home country. Many immigrants work in jobs not related to their profession because they are not aware of the possibility to recognize their qualifications in Germany’, says Thomas Voß, Department Head of Human Resource development at Piening. Together with his colleagues he supports foreign professionals in working in their professions. The key to it all is the German Law of Recognition. It smooths immigrants the way to the German job market.

The Law of Recognition is based on the principals of the assessment of equivalence. ‘There is a reference occupation for each foreign qualification. An application of assessment of equivalence has to be completed and submitted to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s (IHK) special department for Foreign Skills Approval (IHK FOSA)’, Thomas Voß explains. Those who have completed a 3-year-education for their professional qualification and can verify at least 18 months of work experience, stand a good chance to have their professional qualifications recognized in Germany. Piening accompanies its employees each step of the way. ‘We have approximately 100 different nationalities working at Piening. It is a natural course of action for us to support our employees the best possible way.’

Esteban exploited his opportunity and feels at home in Germany. Last year his girlfriend followed him – they both want to build a future together in Germany. The perspectives are looking good: Esteban will be employed directly by Elektro Herrmann in January 2019 with a fixed contract.  

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+49 5241 9929 0 (We speak English, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, French, Italian and German)


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