Over 60 companies come together to launch Tent Deutschland, a new coalition of businesses committed to connecting refugees to jobs

  • Major businesses including adidas, Amazon, DHL Group, Indeed, Mast-Jägermeister, McDonald’s, SAP, and Volkswagen join forces to help refugees in Germany access the labor market
  • New coalition launches today at Eintracht Frankfurt headquarters – the first-ever sports club to join Tent

11 June, 2024 – The Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent) – an international network of companies committed to the labor market integration of refugees – is announcing the launch of Tent Deutschland, a coalition of more than 60 major companies stepping up to hire refugees and help them become job ready. Tent Deutschland will officially launch today at a high-profile event hosted by Eintracht Frankfurt – the first-ever sports club to join Tent’s network.

Germany is today the third largest refugee-hosting country in the world with over two million refugees living within its borders, including over a million Ukrainian refugees and others from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Despite having the legal right to work and a variety of backgrounds and professional qualifications, around half a million refugees are unemployed. This is due to common barriers they face when trying to secure employment such as: low levels of German language proficiency, unfamiliarity with local job search and workplace norms, and company human-resource processes that screen out resumes, as well as structural challenges such as the regulation of certain professions and foreign qualifications not being recognized. 

At the same time, Germany is experiencing severe labor shortages, with approximately 1.7 million unfilled positions across a variety of critical sectors. As the country faces the challenges of an aging population and low birth rates, there is both a great urgency and opportunity for businesses in Germany to step up to reduce barriers and harness refugees’ talent. 

“The Federal Employment Agency has long advocated for all actors – public, private, and nonprofits – to work together to overcome the barriers refugees face when trying to enter the labor market and get refugees into jobs more quickly. Successfully doing this can form part of the solution to some of the demographic and structural challenges facing the German economy,” said Daniel Terzenbach, Executive Chair of the Regions of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) and Special Representative of the Federal Government for the Labor Market Integration of Refugees. “I am thrilled to see so many major companies through Tent Deutschland signaling their intention to do even more to integrate refugees.” 

“Germany – and German businesses in particular – have led the world in welcoming and integrating refugees fleeing war and persecution. But as refugees continue to face tremendous challenges in finding employment, now is the time to double down,” said Gideon Maltz, CEO of Tent. “At a moment when more than half of companies in Germany are unable to find enough workers – threatening to erode Germany’s position as an economic powerhouse – there is an extraordinary opportunity for more businesses to take action to hire refugees.” 

“Building on the experiences of companies in Tent’s vast network in Germany, Europe, and the Americas, Tent Deutschland is uniquely placed to support the German business community in accelerating refugee inclusion,” said Christian Schmidt, Director of Tent Deutschland. “Integrating refugees into the labor market is not just the right thing to do, it is also a good business decision. Refugees bring diversity, new skills, and experiences to the workforce; and, at the same time, Tent research with DIW Econ has shown that German companies already hiring refugees experience increased employee engagement, productivity, and retention.”

Tent Deutschland will offer member companies a host of services free of charge including: resources and trainings for human resource teams; best practices and ideas distilled from Tent’s network of hundreds of major companies across a dozen countries who are hiring and integrating refugees into their workforces, as well as tailored programmes and insights to the German market context; regular convenings and workshops with other Tent Deutschland member companies for peer-to-peer learning; and introductions to best-in-class partners across Germany that can source refugee talent. 

“Cultural diversity is a crucial part of our history at Eintracht Frankfurt and we have long been committed to promoting inclusivity,” said Axel Hellmann, CEO of Eintracht Frankfurt. “We are proud to be an inaugural member of Tent Deutschland the very first sports club to join Tent’s international network and look forward to tapping into the power of football and bringing together key players across sport, the business community, and government to accelerate our collective efforts to integrate refugees into the workforce.”

“For us at DHL Group, the integration of refugees and immigrants into the German labor market is a central building block for successful integration in general and an important lever against the increasing shortage of workers,” says Mirjam Ferrari, SVP HR Operations Post & Parcel Germany at DHL Group. “Since 2015, we have been committed to offering opportunities to people with a history of migration and have already enabled over 22,000 of them to obtain a work or training contract. We are convinced of the power of networks and, as a founding member of Tent Deutschland, we are proud to support this important initiative and to continue our efforts to create a more inclusive and sustainable working environment.” 

The 66 companies joining Tent Deutschland span a range of sectors and include

Accenture, Adecco Group, adidas, Amazon, Aramark, Barilla Group, Berry Global, Boston Consulting Group, Clifford Chance, Collins Foods Germany GmbH, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Post DHL, DLA Piper, Do&Co Group, Duni Group, Eintracht Frankfurt, Ernst & Young, EWL Group, Fiege, Generali, Gi Group Holding, Google, H&M Group, HAVI, Hyatt, IAV, IHG Hotels & Resorts, IKEA, Indeed, ISS, Johnson Matthey, L’Oréal Groupe, Levi Strauss, LinkedIn, Linklaters LLP, ManpowerGroup, Marriott International, Mast-Jägermeister, McDonald’s, McKinsey & Company, Medtronic, Michelin, Microsoft, Novartis, Otto Group, PepsiCo, PwC, QSRP, Randstad, Salesforce, SAP, Schneider Electric, SOCCO Group, Sodexo, Sofidel Group, Squire Patton Boggs, Swarovski, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, Tata Consultancy Services, TenneT, Tip Group, Uber, Uniqlo, Volkswagen, Zalando 

Tent Deutschland is Tent’s seventh national coalition to launch, adding to existing coalitions in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom in Europe and the United States, Canada, and Mexico in the Americas.

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About Tent Deutschland

With Germany welcoming significant numbers of refugees, businesses have a critical role to play in helping them integrate economically in their new communities. Tent Deutschland is a network of over 60 major companies that are committed to hiring refugees across the country and helping them become job-ready. Tent Deutschland is the national coalition of the Tent Partnership for Refugees, which was founded in 2016 by Hamdi Ulukaya, the CEO and founder of Chobani – a multibillion dollar food company in the U.S. – to mobilize the world’s largest employers to help refugees access local labor markets. In addition to Germany, Tent operates in eleven other countries across the Americas and Europe. Find out more at www.tent.org/Deutschland.

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