Read about the experiences of people who got their qualifications recognized

Christine Schuller

Source: Recognition in Germany

Just one month after submitting her application, Christine Schuller
held her certificate of recognition in her hands. Now she is working
in Germany in the profession she trained for in Romania.
 

Name

Christine Schuller

Age

31

Reference profession

Agent in office communication

Country of origin of certificate

Romania

Working as

Office clerk in Ingolstadt

 

Living in Germany has always been a big dream of the 31-year-old
Romanian. Many of her relatives have been living here for years.
She herself went to a German school in Sibiu (Hermannstadt) until
the 8th grade, and German was also the language spoken in her family.

The decision to actually come to Germany, however, was rather
spontaneous: "My husband and I decided to just try it. We packed
our suitcases and came to Germany – without having really concrete
ideas", the Romanian says. At that time Christine Schuller had already
worked for seven years as an office worker in her homeland. "I really
enjoyed that, and I wanted to work in my favourite job in Germany
again." Her initial applications at different companies were
unsuccessful. Encouraged by the counselling she received from
"Tür an Tür Integrationsprojekte" in Augsburg and the positive
experience of her best friend, she turned to the IHK FOSA to apply
for the recognition procedure. The experienced consultants
accompanied Christine Schuller right from the start and gave her
important advice for her preparations. She documented her jobs,
skills and experience for the application and sent the papers to
the IHK FOSA. "I had all my documents like diplomas and letters
of reference translated and authenticated before submitting the
application. That was extremely important", the office clerk explains.
In her homeland of Transylvania she had completed not only further
training to qualify as an administrative assistant but also a course of
studies in finance and banking.

One month after submitting the documents, Christine Schuller already
held her certificate of recognition in her hands. With the reference
qualification of "office communication clerk", responses to her job
applications came in much faster. "I am happy that I found a good
position via the temporary work agency", describes Christine Schuller
her current situation. "I managed to continue to work in my profession
here, and it took less time than expected."

The interview was conducted in June 2014.

Giusi Frazzetta

Source: Recognition in Germany

Giusi Frazzetta worked below her actual qualifications for over 
a year as a healthcare assistant. After recognition of her Italian 
credentials she assumed more responsibility as a Nurse.

Name

Giusi Frazzetta

Age

25

Reference profession

Children's nurse

Country of origin of certificate

Italy

Working as

Children's nurse in Cologne
 

Giusi Frazzetta finds the question about her current life situation
easy to answer. "It's great! I have a permanent contract, I can plan
my future", the Italian woman chuckles. The paediatric nurse made
the bold move to Germany two years ago – knowing that the
prospects of a secure job would be better than in her homeland.

At first the real situation seemed different, however. Although
Ms Frazzetta found employment in a hospital, she had to make do
with the job of a healthcare assistant at first. Her employer could
not let her work in the job she was trained for without recognition of
her Italian vocational qualifications. "I wanted more responsibility",
says the 25-year-old. Giusi Frazzetta could count on the support of
her then employer in getting her vocational qualifications recognised.
The hospital where she took up her temporary job for the transition
period supplied her with information about the process. Other
institutions played a central role especially during the recognition
procedure: "They and the state examination office for medicine,
physiotherapy and pharmacy were very important to me."

Ms Frazzetta admits that visits to government agencies and the
consular visits necessary for the translation of her certificates
demanded quite a bit of patience on her part. All in all, the recognition
process took over a year. By her own admission, however, she would
have had no chance of getting beyond the role of healthcare assistant
without it. "Recognition has enabled me to work as a nurse in
Germany." Giusi Frazzetta did not have to make much of an
adaptation to daily vocational life in her adopted country. "Procedures
are slightly different from those in Italy, but on the whole, everything
is the same. Apart from that my expectations of a good job have
been fulfilled."

The interview with Giusi Frazzetta was conducted in June 2014.

Ümit K.

Source: Recognition in Germany

“I wouldn’t have got a job without having my qualification recognised”.

Ümit K. (33) came to Germany at the age of 20. Although he was
not able to work immediately in his occupation of industrial
mechanic, he found a job as an industrial cleaner. He became
unemployed as a result of the economic crisis of 2010. In the
interview, he talks about his employment history and relates
how he decided to seek recognition for his training in 2012.

Mr. K., when did you come to Germany?
I came to Germany at the end of 2000, when I was 20. I had
completed my training two years previously. In Turkey, I qualified
as an industrial mechanic.

Were you able to continue to work in your occupation when
you arrived in this country?
I tried to continue to work in my occupation for the first year. But I
had no chance. Things were very difficult for me. I then worked for
seven years as an industrial cleaner at a large power station. Of
course, I didn’t earn much.

What happened next? 
I managed to find a job in my occupation of industrial mechanic
at a company in Bergheim. I worked there for almost 3 years, until
2010. There were redundancies at the company because of the
economic crisis. I became unemployed and decided to get my
training qualifications recognised in this country. The recognition
laws were not, however, in place at that time. I found work as a
mechanic via a temping agency, became unemployed again and
moved onto the next temping agency.

When did you learn of the new law?
I first heard about the new law from a Turkish association which
held an information event at Kerpen Town Hall in 2012. I went along
to the event. The people there were very nice. A German member
of staff helped me a great deal.

In 2012, you became unemployed again …
I sent out applications all over the place, but I was unable to get
a job because I did not have any recognised training. And then I
came to the decision for myself that I needed to get recognition
for my qualifications in some way or another. I obtained the
recognition paperwork from the Chamber of Industry and
Commerce in Cologne and went to the Employment Agency. I
told them that I could not get a job without a recognised vocational
qualification.

What helped you in getting recognition for your occupation?
The Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Cologne was particularly
helpful.  I sent the forms off, and they forwarded them to the
IHK FOSA in Nuremberg, which is responsible for te recognition
of foreign occupations. I then got some more letters and forms.
I went to the Turkish Consulate again and to the Town Hall to have
my diploma certified. Five months later, I received a telephone
call fromthe IHK FOSA. They wanted a reference from my last
employer.

And today?
I have now got my recognition. The costs of the recognition
procedure were paid by the Employment Agency because I was
on benefits at the time. My advisors said OK, we will pay. I wanted
to work, but I couldn’t get a job without a recognised vocational
qualification. I started work with a new company a week ago. I’m
really happy with the job. It’s the best possible outcome for me. 

Mr. K., thank you for the interview!

Ümit K. lives with his wife and their daughter in the Westerwald
region. The interview was conducted in March 2013.
 

He received particular help and active support with his recognition
procedure from the 
Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)
in Cologne
.

Ana Poli

Source: Recognition in Germany

In 2013, Greek-trained nurse Ana Poli decided to seek a new
professional career in Germany. 

 

Name

Ana Poli

Age

32

Reference occupation

Gesundheits- und
Krankenpflegerin

Country of origin of qualification

Griechenland

Current job

Gesundheits- und
Krankenpflegerin

 

When nurse Ana Poli became unemployed in Greece in 2013
and began to learn German at the Goethe Institute, she decided
to take her future into her own hands. Having achieved language
level A2, she jumped in at the deep end by sending a spontaneous
application from Greece to a temporary employment agency in
Germany. And the plan succeeded. The company gave her the
opportunity to continue her language learning and placed her with
the Bonn University Clinic.

However, the new start in Germany proved not to be quite so
easy after all. Ana Poli had assumed that she would receive “the
same salary and the same continuing training opportunities as
German nursing staff” because she had switched jobs within the
European Union. Then came the first disappointment. Ana, who is
now 32, was only permitted to work as a non-recognised nursing
assistant because she did not have official recognition for her
professional qualification. In Greece, she had completed a four-year
course of study and had been employed at the highest level in the
nursing sector. “In Germany, I had to work together with my mentor
or other colleagues at all times,” she said. “Without recognition I was
not allowed to care for patients on my own.”

The temporary employment agency Randstad helped her to launch
a recognition process. The company arranged for her certificates to
be translated and sent them complete with the other application
documentation to the State Examination Office for Medicine, Pharmacy
and Psychotherapy in Düsseldorf. Automatic recognition was then able
to take place in accordance with the EU Directive on the recognition
of professional qualifications. Before Ana was permitted to use the
professional title of registered general nurse, the local Public Health
Department in North-Rhine Westphalia checked her knowledge of
spoken and written German. This is one of the prerequisites for the
exercising of the profession. “Because my knowledge of German was
not yet good enough, it took me eight months before I felt sufficiently
confident to take the test at the Department,” she said. She also had
to obtain a “Certificate of Good Standing” (COG) from the relevant
Medical Council in Greece, because such a document must not be
older than three months. In issuing the COG, the Greek authorities
confirm to the German authorities that Ana Poli is able to exercise
her profession in Greece in the normal manner and that there are not,
for example, any outstanding criminal proceedings against her.
Finally, once a doctor’s certificate to confirm that there were
no health reasons why she should not be deployed as a
registered general nurse had also been obtained, the Public
Health Department in Siegburg was able to issue a certificate of
entitlement to practise.

“Fear of the unknown was the greatest challenge to me rather
than all the paperwork involved,” Ana Poli continued. “You are
in a foreign country and don’t really know how the people tick.”

However, Ana’s natural and open manner ultimately also enabled
her to overcome this hurdle. “Nurses in Germany do everything
from preparing medication to providing personal care.” In Greece,
the level of her qualification tended to mean that she was in charge
of administrative matters. But she does not view her present area
of activity as worse: “It’s just a little bit different.” Ana’s aim now is
to “live more like a normal married couple” with her husband, who
has also just successfully completed the recognition process
in the profession of registered general nurse. She would also
like to travel more and go out with German friends. “Recognition
has simply brought us a better quality of life”, states a delighted
Ana Poli.

The interview with Ana Poli was conducted in July 2015.