Many developing and emerging economies face high unemployment and tough economic conditions. A lot of young people feel that the only way to escape this situation is to migrate to a Western European country. Germany is often their destination of choice, but it’s not easy to settle down there. If migrants enter through irregular channels or without a work visa, they have practically no chance of success.
Migrants may well have good prospects back in their home countries, but it’s often difficult for them to get all the necessary information. This is where the advisory services provided by the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) play an important role. CIM is jointly run by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the International Placement Services of the German Federal Employment Agency (ZAV/BA).
Stay, go or return?
The advisory services are aimed at people looking for opportunities in their home countries or in Germany. Assistance is given on the one hand to migrants in Germany who would like to return to their homeland. Here, GIZ works closely with cities and municipalities to provide people interested in returning with relevant information while they are still in Germany. ‘Reintegration scouts’ support German advice centres by putting individuals in touch with useful contacts in their countries of origin.
There are also migration advisory centres in selected countries that can provide people with information about job and training opportunities and about official migration channels. People mostly want to know about the options available in their own country. ‘Our experience shows that most young people who contact us actually want to stay in their homeland,’ says Alexander Seidl, Regional Coordinator for the migration advisory centres in the Western Balkans.
The centres are open to everyone – both the local population and people who have returned to their home country from abroad. Visitors are given information on local training courses, advised on possible start-up support or given assistance in searching for a job. The advisory centres also provide details of opportunities for vocational training or employment promotion offered by other German development cooperation projects.
At present there are migration advisory centres in Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, Tunisia and Morocco. Plans are in place to open more centres in future. Usage data shows how much demand there is for advisory services – since 2015 the centres have advised almost 30,000 people and around 1,200 individuals have attended courses on applying for jobs.