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German Inclusion Act: Continental Recruits Long-Term Unemployed

  • Joint pilot project with the Federal Employment Agency to begin at the end of January
  • Planned is the recruitment of long-term unemployed persons in Hanover, Ingolstadt and Regensburg
  • Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Executive Board member for Human Relations: “We must mobilize all forces available to us on the job market”

Hanover, January 21, 2019. Technology company Continental is supporting the German Inclusion Act (Teilhabechancengesetz) and will begin a joint pilot project with the Federal Employment Agency at the end of January. Planned is the recruitment of long-term unemployed persons at Continental’s locations in Hanover, Ingolstadt and Regensburg. The new employees are to be engaged primarily in traditional training activities in production and receive targeted support over the first few years. “We must mobilize all forces available to us on the job market. To retain these employees here at Continental, we are making targeted investments in their long-term skill-building during the program,” says Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Executive Board member for Human Relations. “With almost full employment in Germany, no company can afford to forgo talent simply because a potential candidate’s profile does not at first glance fit a vacant position.”

Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Member of the Executive Board, Human Relations, Director of Labor Relations, Sustainability © Continental AG

The German Inclusion Act came into force at the turn of the year and offers new opportunities for integrating the long-term unemployed in the job market. Companies that hire employees who have been jobless for at least seven years will receive subsidies over a period of five years. The job center will be responsible for selecting candidates in consultation with companies. The new law is now to be implemented as part of a pilot project at Continental. “We have already launched a number of successful projects with Continental, which is why we are delighted to once again launch this joint pilot project relating to the German Inclusion Act,” says Detlef Scheele, Executive Board member for the Federal Employment Agency.

Two of the joint initiatives with the Federal Employment Agency are the WeGebAU project and the “Fit for Industry 4.0” initiative at Continental’s site in Regensburg. The WeGebAU support program enables employees to train as mechatronics specialists certified by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). In 2017, Continental also initiated three training programs for unskilled production employees to equip them for Industry 4.0. The focus here is on the professions of electronics engineers for technical equipment, warehouse logistics experts and mechatronics engineers. The concept has also been in place since 2018 at the Babenhausen site and was expanded to include the profession of process mechanic for plastics technology. With this program, Continental offers long-term unskilled production employees the opportunity to undergo specialized training without losing income.

Another example of the successful partnership is the “Experiencing Europe” initiative, which places young adults looking for work in internships in EU countries. The pilot project was launched in 2017 at Continental under the name “We l.o.v.e. Europe.” A total of 63 participants have so far completed 121 short internships in Europe, with three of them having subsequently started their training at Continental.