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TU Chemnitz ranks among the Winners of the “Study & Work” Competition

Universities were recognized for their strategies in engaging international skilled workers in the German job market – close cooperation in the Work Group for the Securement of Skilled Workers in Chemnitz

Due to the good economy in many sectors, the shortage of skilled workers is markedly noticeable even the region of Chemnitz. One possible approach to solving this problem is found in the influx of international skilled workers, who first need to be approached and convinced to seek career prospects in Saxony. Significantly promising is the approach to keep international students of the Technische Universität Chemnitz in the region, as their proportion of the entire student body is around 19% at this time. “We are always surprised how many international students are interested in starting their professional careers in regional mid-sized companies and start-ups and want to find a new home here,” says Dr. Christian Genz, the project director of the Career Service of the Technische Universität Chemnitz. In light of this, the Centre for Knowledge and Technology Transfer (CKT) of the Technische Universität Chemnitz took part in the “Study & Work” competition of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, an association for the promotion of science and humanities in Germany. And with success: the commissioner for East German Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary of State at the Federal Ministry of Economy, Iris Gleicke, and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft awarded prizes in the “Study & Work” competition to ten networks consisting of universities, economic enterprises and regional players. The winners presented the best concepts for the integration of international students into the regional employment market. The TU Chemnitz ranks among the winning universities.

“Guiding international students to a successful graduation, informing them early on about career prospects – especially in our region – and giving proper supports during their transition from the university into the job market. These are important aspects of university development planning for the TU Chemnitz,” said Prof. Dr. Arnold van Zyl, Rector of the TU Chemnitz. Through the “Study & Work” project, the Career Service can support international students even more intensively with their acceptance to internships and employment contracts in the region of Saxony. “Our doors are wide open for the economy, the companies can show our students at any time which attractive prospects they have to offer – especially in the regional job market,” according to the Rector. This is a win-win situation, as every international graduate brings his own perspective along to each company and therefore helps to find approaches to new markets. “In this way, potential employers also profit from the intercultural competence imparted from the TU Chemnitz,” says Prof. van Zyl.

In the first phase of the project, students were given a sense of the English-language informational events for beginning a career in Saxony, the associated requirements as well as the range of supports that the project offers. International students had to apply to participate in the second phase of the project. The most talented among them were prepared for career entry through workshops and consultations and were accompanied and supported during the entire phase of beginning their career. Core objectives are raising the international students’ awareness of opportunities in the German job market as well as integrating at least 25 international students of the TU Chemnitz in full-time employment contracts with insurance benefits at regional employers.

At the same time, the project builds on a tradition established over many years by the Work Group for the Securement of Skilled Workers in Chemnitz, which is currently affiliated with the following institutions: TU Chemnitz (Career Service/International Office), Employment Agency of Chemnitz, The German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses, Industrieverein Sachsen 1828 e.V., Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chemnitz, Foreigner’s Office of the City of Chemnitz, Jobcenter Chemnitz as well as the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Chemnitz. The integration last year of the Career Service into the Centre for Knowledge and Technology Transfer brings additional advantages for the project. “The diverse partners of the Centre for Knowledge and Technology Transfer are, of course, also available as possible employers. Furthermore, international students who would like to take a step into self-employment are welcome at any time in the Founder’s Network SAXEED, also located at the CKT,” says Prof. Dr. Andreas Schubert, Vice-Rector for Knowledge and Technology Transfer and director of the Centre for Knowledge and Technology Transfer.

Dr. Eva-Maria Stange, Saxony’s Minister of Science and Art, congratulates the TU Chemnitz and the other two technical universities from the Free State, who also are among the ten winning universities: “I am delighted by this honor and the associated financial funding. It is really close to my heart that as many foreign graduates as possible of universities in Saxony find career prospects here in the state and help to meet the economic demand for skilled workers. This enhances the appeal of our universities and is an effective remedy against the looming shortage of skilled workers in companies.”

Key Words: Study & Work

“Study & Work” is a joint initiative of the Commissioners for the New Federal States and for the Middle Class in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft. In all, 46 universities took part in the “Study & Work” competition, 17 of these from states in eastern Germany. In the next two years, the competition winners will be supported in the implementation of their initiatives with up to 120,000 euros each. “Study & Work” was offered as a prize for the first time by the East German Representatives and the Stifterverband. The goal of this contest is to improve the social and professional integration of foreign skilled workers and simultaneously contribute to the securement of young professionals in the regional economy.

In regular network meetings, the topic of securing skilled workers and international students is expected to be further promoted. At events, the results of the initiative and of an accompanying study from the research sector of the Expert Council on Integration and Migration will be introduced to the general public and discussed. The kick-off event will take place in Berlin on the 9th of December, 2015.

Further information is available from Dr. Christian Genz, Telephone 0049 371 531 38391, E-Mail

(Translation: Sarah Wilson)

Mario Steinebach

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