How a tech school helps refugees break into Germany’s job market

Author: Tamsin Paternoster

This article is part of Changing the Narrative. Articles in this series are written by student or early career journalists who took part in The Local’s training course on solutions-focused migration reporting. Find out more about the project here.

Meet the people behind a school that’s hoping to close the talent gap in Germany’s tech industry – while helping refugees and migrants kick-start their career in their new country.

Anne Riechert is originally from Denmark, and moved to Berlin in 2012 to set up the Berlin Peace Innovation Lab in association with Stanford University. She noticed that when talking to some of the 1.2 million refugees that arrived in Germany in 2015, the majority of adults primarily wanted to find a way to make their own money, and with that, find independence and dignity.

At the same time the German tech industry found itself losing money every year due to a lack of technical talent. Despite not having an education in programming, Riechert saw a solution: ReDi school, which helps connect refugees and people from forced migration backgrounds to the tech industry.

“When we started the school five years ago, there were 42,000 available jobs in tech in Germany. ReDi school in many ways is a win-win situation – closing the talent gap in the tech industry as well as bringing refugees and migrants into work,” says Riechert.

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