“Welcome to Jena!”
The staff of the joint initiative of Jena Business Development (JenaWirtschaft) and the IQ Network Thuringia (IQ Netzwerk Thüringen) now say this sentence more often: Cornelia Meyerrose, Joanna Pawlaczek, Ev Sauerbrey, Dana Wunderlich. The team, which has only been working together for a short time, provides information on what career prospects Jena hast to offer and how to best “arrive” in the city.
New place – new chance?
What sounds so simple is often not. The decision to leave familiar surroundings for an apprenticeship or a job is often a risk with an uncertain outcome. Young students, for example, are usually much less inclined to make decisions than people who have been working for many years, own their own home and have school-age children. But local structures, residence formalities and language barriers often make it difficult to move. “What is important in our counselling,” says Joanna Pawlaczek, head of the Welcome Centre, “is to look at the personal situation of the individual. We offer our clients targeted information and support. It’s about Jena-related and individual information as well as targeted help for self-help.”
Enabling barrier-free access
The relevant information can be found here: school and university graduates, employees and skilled workers, scientists from Jena and the region, other federal states and also from abroad. Of course also their family members. These groups are diverse and do not have the same access opportunities. One hurdle is knowledge about career prospects in Jena. In addition, international skilled workers have to comply with many formalities under residence law as well as the rules on access to the labour market. “Several Jena companies have already taken advantage of our case-by-case advice on residence, access to the labour market, recognition of foreign vocational and academic qualifications and qualification opportunities,” says Dana Wunderlich, who, together with Ev Sauerbrey, is available at the Welcome Centre to answer questions and support the recruitment of skilled personnel from abroad. The team contributes to more equal opportunities by providing support and workshops on diversity-sensitive recruitment procedures and diversity management, which are available to employers. “We not only help to recruit competent employees, but also to retain them in the long term. The less barriers there are to participation in social life and in everyday working life, the more everyone involved and the region benefit,” Joanna Pawlaczek.
Pilots with valuable local knowledge
“What is the character of the different districts? Which school has a special focus? What formalities do I have to observe when moving?” – the questions that arise when moving to a new location for work are as varied as the people themselves. “Our everyday counselling is colourful and not very plannable,” Cornelia Meyerrose therefore reports. “Most of the time there is little lead time and solutions are needed at very short notice. That’s where we are needed as pilots or interfaces and sometimes try to do the impossible.” In this way, the team answers the most urgent and essential questions quickly and, above all, personally. The Welcome Centre staff also offer active support to employers when it comes to getting through the “dreaded official jungle”. In addition to the formalities, it is also good for new team members from abroad to know, for example, where there is a particularly nice place to go, where there is a good selection of spices to buy or where people with similar interests or the same mother tongue meet. Ultimately, it is also the “soft factors” that help decide whether a trainee, student or job is accepted. No matter how interesting the new job may be – at the end of the working day, you also have to feel comfortable in your new home. For Cornelia Meyerrose, returning to Jena would have been unthinkable without suitable job prospects for her husband or without a family-friendly environment and attractive childcare.
The Welcome Centre Jena is a joint initiative of Jena Business Development (JenaWirtschaft) and the IQ Network Thuringia. The comprehensive location-specific information on career prospects and life in Jena is supplemented by the services of the Fachinformationszentrum Immigration Jena (FIZ). This advises companies and municipal institutions on the possibilities and processes of the Skilled Workers Immigration Act. This includes individual case-related advice on residence, labour market access, the recognition of vocational and academic qualifications and qualification opportunities.