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Facilitating associate involvement, using Bosch resources

Trix Boehne

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Examples of projects to support refugee integration

KinderHelden: Bosch is making it possible for children to get off to a good start in school

Among refugee families, the desire for security and a structured everyday life is immense. Parents want their children to find prospects for the future and make social connections. For children, learning the language quickly is essential to being able to act with self-confidence, make friends, and successfully enter the German education system. In the Stuttgart-based initiative “Ich kann’s”, launched by the non-profit organization KinderHelden, volunteer mentors help children ages 6 to 12 by acting as a learning companion, allowing them to learn the German language faster and develop self-confidence in school and in everyday life. KinderHelden works with Stuttgart schools to find mentors for children in need while providing a secure legal framework and educational support through training and materials. The mentors meet with the children once a week. They help them with homework, visit libraries, and go on short excursions in the metropolitan area.

More than the individual activities, what makes a difference is the role as a “big brother” or “big sister.” Activities such as eating ice cream and going to the playground give the kids a chance to talk about their everyday lives and offer a fun opportunity for them to improve their German skills. They learn how to get around safely and acquire practical skills such as buying a ticket on the bus. Every afternoon spent together expands the horizons of their new living environment. Right now, several associates have taken on responsibility for at least one year for children from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, as well as from North Africa, Albania, and Kosovo. The initiative was set up in fall 2015 and is one of 113 projects benefiting from donations by the Bosch associate aid network Primavera. The company has matched Bosch associates’ donations. Up to 2019, Primavera will be financing 120 additional tandems between mentors and refugee children.

Flüchtlingskreis Weilimdorf: Bosch associates provide local support

For many refugees, their journey to Germany initially ends in accommodations designed to provide a temporary home until their residency status is clarified and they can take their first steps toward a new life. This time is often characterized by anxiety about the future, language barriers, and day-to-day monotony. Up to 400 refugees live at the Steinröhre shelter in Stuttgart’s Weilimdorf neighborhood, where Flüchtlingskreis Weilimdorf helps them cope with this time in their lives. The volunteer helpers provide support in dealing with authorities and offer athletic activities as well as additional language courses. Bosch associates are also involved in the initiative and organize regular childcare. In the group, children start and end each session with songs intended to familiarize them with the sound of the German language. They also enjoy classic playground games such as blind man’s bluff and sack races. The regular service takes some of the burden off parents’ shoulders and provides the children with structure and routine in an environment that is constantly changing, with new residents arriving and leaving all the time. Most come from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. The language barriers are high, not only due to a lack of German skills. Clear structures and firm rules during their time in the organization’s care provide stability, while the group activities make it easier to form bonds.

Qualification for the labor market: additional internships at the Bosch location in Feuerbach

More than 12,000 associates from 77 different nations work at Bosch’s long-established location in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. Every year, over 650 young women and men receive training at the occupational training center in Feuerbach – experience, knowledge, and resources that Bosch is committing to qualifying refugees for the German labor market. The goal is to give refugees an opportunity to get to know careers and the structure of the occupational training system and obtain a level of knowledge that will allow them to start occupational training. Stuttgart-Feuerbach is one of 30 Bosch locations in Germany that provided additional internships for this purpose in 2016 and 2017. One-day company tours offer a first look behind the scenes of the German working world. Short, one-week internships in professions such as industrial mechanic, mechatronics engineer, and materials tester help provide career orientation. In addition, Bosch offers introductory training programs spanning a period of several months to provide targeted preparation for occupational training.

In Feuerbach, as at all other locations, Bosch works with local and regional institutions and authorities to adapt the offers to the needs of the community. The occupational training team works closely with Ausbildungscampus, a Bürgerstiftung Stuttgart initiative that supplements the training provided by companies by offering language, job application, and computer courses. A mentoring program supports young refugees in successfully beginning occupational training. The company cooperates with the Federal Employment Agency to provide introductory training programs. During the program, participants receive guidance from Bosch associates over a period of several months as well as a look at operating processes and the working culture, including modern machining and welding techniques, for example, in addition to rules such as wearing the appropriate protective clothing. They also find out how occupational training is structured and what specializations are possible. The observations from this time make it easier for job counselors at government authorities to assess an individual’s skills and decide whether to recognize previous qualifications. As a result, the introductory training programs enable young women and men to gain a foothold on the German labor market and take a step toward the future.

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs some 72,600 associates in research and development at 126 locations across the globe, as well as roughly 30,000 software engineers.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861–1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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