In order to develop best practices nationwide, NETZWERK Unternehmen integrieren Flüchtlinge (NETWORK Companies Integrate Refugees) has for the third time selected companies from the individual German federal states to be awarded the title of “Regional Ambassadors” for one year. This creates a network of experts who live labour market integration in practice and pass on their expertise to companies in the region.
For Hamburg, we spoke to our Regional Ambassador David Etmenan. As Chief Executive Officer & Owner of NOVUM Hospitality, he is particularly committed to the labour market integration of refugees.
I am a regional ambassador, because…
…interculturality is never a disruptive factor but an enrichment – whether in a personal or professional environment.
My best experience in working with people with a refugee background…
…is the personal and professional enrichment that arises from an interculturally influenced working environment. Especially the hotel industry, as an international sector, thrives on internationality.
First challenges for us involved…
…language barriers, but we have been able to solve these by getting translating support from staff of the same descent and by sponsoring language courses, for example.
My message for companies in Hamburg:
Although integration work in Hamburg is on the right track, I would like to see it intensified in the future. It is important not to see new situations and challenges as a disruptive factor but as an opportunity for the entire company. This also includes questioning our own processes and revising them where necessary. For example, we have had good experiences with the NOVUM Hospitality School’s internal training and further education programmes. Wherever possible, I would advise other companies to set up their own vocational training initiatives – also to promote internal (cultural) exchange.