International qualified professionals for hotels and restaurants in Germany: the “Hand in Hand for International Talents” project
A banquet manager from Hanoi, a receptionist from São Paulo, a chef from Ho Chi Minh City – the workforce in hotels in the region of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rostock has become even more international in recent months. These new qualified professionals from abroad were recruited with the support of the pilot project “Hand in Hand for Internationals Talents”.
The region of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) Rostock is one of the five pilot regions in Germany where the “Hand in Hand for International Talents” project is being implemented. The project helps small and medium-sized enterprises to recruit qualified professionals from third countries in IHK-recognised occupations. What is special about the project is that it focuses exclusively on state-recognised qualifications from the applicant’s home country that are equivalent to a training occupation in Germany. It is not always easy to find suitable candidates, especially in the hotel and catering industry, because the vocational education and training systems in third countries have a different structure to the German system. The banquet manager from Hanoi, for example, has a Bachelor of Business Administration/Hotel Management, which is recognised in Germany as a “hotel management assistant” qualification.
Companies participating in the pilot project are spared the work of looking for suitable applicants: there is now a pool of skilled qualified professionals who can be put forward to interested employers. In the case of a good match, the project continues to provide support – with German language courses, the recognition procedure, visas, and preparations for departure – until the qualified professional has settled in well after entering Germany.
The aim of the pilot project is to develop processes for the effective recruitment of qualified professionals from third countries that can be transferred to other regions, countries, and occupations. The insights gained will be used to improve the general conditions for sustainable skilled labour immigration.