News | Development Cooperation, Education | 19. June 2017

Building bridges to cross divides – 10 ways to bring refugees and companies together

Fifteen participants and more than 30 experts took up the “Bridging Challenge” of the DO School and the Siemens Stiftung.
© The DO School

Why have just a relatively small amount of refugees been employed by German companies thus far? What can companies and refugees do to create long-term employment relationships? The publication “Building Bridges to Cross Divides – Connecting Refugees and Companies More Effectively” tackles precisely these questions. It was produced as part of the workshop “The Bridging Challenge” that Siemens Stiftung initiated together with the international education platform The DO School in April 2016. The aim of the innovation workshop was to foster a dialog among refugees, company representatives as well as business and social experts, in addition to developing solutions deemed by both sides as positive and profitable.


The brochure demonstrates the different fundamental attitudes and expectations of employers and potential applicants. It describes typical problems and challenges that can lead to misunderstandings and problems for those starting out at jobs. Refugees frequently know little about formats like resumes and cover letters, while German employers apply standards based on German educational levels. The strategies designed to overcome this expectation gap involve alternatives to the classic letter of recommendation or a mentoring program. Furthermore, they include specific measures that take the needs of all sides into consideration and can be easily adjusted to improve the occupational cooperation. Above all, the brochure is designed to serve as a foundation that as many companies as possible may use to successfully carry out their own integration projects. For this reason, the content of this publication (with the exception of photographs) has been issued under the open license Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 international. Therefore, companies and initiatives may use, modify and disseminate the texts and solutions according to their very own needs and situation.


The brochure is available in German.

Related links

Website The DO School

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