What we do
Care Forward is a career guidance training project for female refugees to facilitate the entry into caregiving and early education professions.
It begins with a two-week course during which the participants learn the basics about working in these professions: What kind of jobs are out there and what are the training options? How do most application processes work? The course also deals with German labour rights and workplace culture.
Jobs for refugees: Opportunities with and without formal training
The program offers an introduction to qualified jobs in the care industry, such as preschool teacher and occupational health or geriatric nurse. In order to showcase what these professions truly entail, we arrange excursions to partner organisations (elderly care homes, hospitals, childcare centres) to see what the day-to-day tasks looks like and to meet professionals in that field. We also introduce refugees to part- and full-time jobs without formal training requirements, such as working with senior citizens or offering childcare or household work in private homes. By offering a range of opportunities we can introduce women in different circumstances and with different educational backgrounds to career trajectories in the care sector.
In addition, each participant receives individualised career counselling to develop a personal career profile. By taking into account the participants’ current life situations and challenges, their wishes and hopes as well as their qualifications, we can customize our guidance and help each woman chart her own personalized career path. Most of the course participants come from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, which is why our courses are held in German and Arabic or Dari.
Having a profession is the key to successful integration and a self-determined life, especially for asylum seeking women who would like to make productive contributions to their new home.
In fact, they can contribute to solving a central problem within our labour market. Currently, there are approximately one million unfilled job openings in Germany. In particular, the caregiving and preschool education sector are desperate for more trained workers. According to estimates, by 2030, Germany will have approximately 500,000 unfilled jobs in the caregiving sector.
Integration and filling a crucial role in caregiving and early childhood education
There is also a great need for support in the private sector. Female migrants are already delivering an important service to our society by taking care of our dearest ones, particularly in private geriatric care, childcare and in households. Care Forward program candidates can bring additional support to families who are looking for caregivers, in turn allowing heads of housholds, and particularly women, go back to work.
Hearing this, one would think that job opportunities in the caregiving and early childhood education sectors would be good for female refugees. But in reality, the bureaucratic and cultural hurdles of the German labour market as well as the lack of qualifications make it difficult for these women.
Care Forward wants to change this for the benefit of everyone.
Where we’re headed
Care Forward offers solutions to two fundamental societal challenges: the ever-growing lack of trained care workers and the need for a more inclusive economy for migrant women who are often on the fringes of the labour market. Care Forward´s goal is to help program participants find meaningful career trajectories in the care sector that will help these women live dignified lives and integrate into the German society.
Over the next few years Care Forward will train participants all over Germany and fill thousands of open job and apprenticeship positions, especially in preschools, elderly care homes, hospitals and in the hospitality industry. Because of the technological preconditions and the global reach of the project initiators – Care.com and International Rescue Committee – the chances are good that Care Forward will even expand internationally in the future.