With JOB FAIR! Connect is a new project for young refugees in Cologne, funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. As a supplementary offer to the initiative “Durchstarten in Ausbildung und Arbeit” (Starting out in training and work), people are to be given more support in their vocational orientation and networked with suitable offers and employers.
JOB FAIR! Connect is aimed primarily at young people between the ages of 18 and 27 who have experienced flight and whose residence status has not yet been clarified. Due to their particular vulnerability and intersectional discrimination, women in particular should be addressed by the project.
Especially in an uncertain life situation, as experienced by the project’s target group, there is a particularly great need for orientation and support.
In the foreground of JOB FAIR! Connect is therefore a job and networking fair that takes place twice a year, where participants can come into direct contact with potential employers and apprenticeships. In this way, initial uncertainties can be overcome and the path to the job market can be accompanied. An initial professional orientation thus opens up the perspective of being able to shape one’s life independently.
This means that JOB FAIR! Connect as the first project in Cologne to bring together people with refugee experience and potential employers through regular job fairs.
In addition to the job fair, other accompanying projects strengthen the sustainability of the project. Thus, the project is also aimed at volunteers, students and former participants who assist with language support as part of a tandem accompaniment. At the same time, this is intended to create individual support, which, for example, is exhausted in tutoring sessions during vocational school hours. This creates the opportunity to build and strengthen long-term relationships of trust with participants. At the same time, this is intended to and can counteract training and employment dropouts.
Other smaller events and workshops also offer support with the application process or onboarding at the training company.
Job FAIR! Connect is a cooperation of Jama Nyeta e.V., Migrafrica, Integrationshaus Köln and the Migration and Development Council e.V.
Photos by Fadi Elias – In-Haus Media 2023 (@fadi_elias94 – @inhaus_ev)