From Refugee Crisis to Job Engine: An Analysis of German Businesses’ Experience in Refugee Integration

Written by DIW Econ, sponsored by the Tent Partnership for Refugees | May 2022
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Europe is currently facing its largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. As European nations prepare to welcome an influx of refugees fleeing crises in countries such as Ukraine and Afghanistan, the experience of the continent’s largest refugee host country – Germany – can serve as a helpful blueprint for refugees’ economic integration. 

From 2015 to the end of 2020, Germany welcomed about 1.9 million refugees. German businesses learned how to effectively and sustainably integrate refugees into their workforces while gaining loyal and talented employees. The lessons garnered are documented in a first-of-its-kind report, written by German economic consulting firm DIW Econ and sponsored by the Tent Partnership for Refugees.  

The study analyzes the experiences of 100 mid-sized and large German companies that have hired refugees. The research reveals that companies that have hired refugees have experienced enhanced creativity, increased productivity, higher employee retention, and better market positioning. In fact, 88% of companies surveyed plan to hire more refugees in 2022.

By analyzing the challenges, effective solutions and best practices, and actionable recommendations for companies on refugee integration, this report is a seminal guide for companies looking to bring refugee talent into their workforce in Germany and beyond.