Refugee Inclusion Toolkit by IKEA
IKEA Switzerland has published the Refugee Inclusion Toolkit. The Toolkit is a 34-page document available in German, English, French and Italian explaining IKEA Switzerland’s Refugee Inclusion Programme. It also covers general topics on employment and asylum in Switzerland.
The purpose of the toolkit is to share our experience on how to go about integrating refugees in the workplace so that they can become assets to companies and society as a whole. The Toolkit can be downloaded for free in the pdf language versions: German, English, French, Italian
For those of you who are not yet aware of our Refugee Inclusion Programme, here is some more information. With the programme, we are providing six-month internships for refugees, including intercultural awareness training. The goal is to give refugees in Switzerland the opportunity to gain work experience in a Swiss company, to develop or improve their professional and language skills and finally to get to know local people. If the internship is a positive experience for both sides, participants are encouraged to apply for any vacancies. The programme was set up in close cooperation with the authorities and collaborating organisations. They provide us with potential candidates and support the participants throughout and after the programme. We have committed to helping 110 refugees over three years.
Being in the second round of the Refugee Inclusion Programme, we have gained positive experiences. The refugees are highly motivated and both their professional and their language skills improve throughout the internships. We have experienced only two dropouts so far. From the first round with 18 participants, we were able to provide 6 participants with permanent work opportunities. Of course, we also faced challenges. These included, for example, some internal and external resistance, which we managed to overcome by taking a clear stance, as well as some difficulties with language skills.
Following the publishing of the Refugee Inclusion Toolkit, IKEA Switzerland plans to organise a Refugee Inclusion Dialogue in the autumn/winter. The goal of this dialogue is to present our programme and those of other companies and to discuss the challenges and possible solutions surrounding integrating refugees in the labour market.