International qualified professionals for hotels and restaurants in Germany: the “Hand in Hand for International Talents” project

Correct as of: 25/11/2022

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.

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Small-scale piloting for the benefit of many: the pilot project focuses on specific regions and occupational groups

The pilot project is initially limited to certain regions, occupational groups and third countries. Qualified professionals are recruited in Brazil, India and Vietnam by the local German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK) and the ZAV (International and Specialised Services) of the Federal Employment Agency.

The pilot regions are Rostock, Reutlingen, Lübeck, Erfurt and Düsseldorf – places where the local chambers of commerce and industry and the Employment Agency work closely together. They advise interested employers, and the IHK project coordinators accompany the integration process once the qualified professionals have entered Germany.

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The “Hand in Hand for International Talents” project is implemented jointly by DIHK Service GmbH and the Federal Employment Agency with funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

More information about the project:

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