Working & Living in Germany – Europass

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Traps & Myths about EU permits

The Europass – What is it really?

The Europass is not (although it might sound like it) a residence, travel or work permit; it has nothing to do with travelling, living or working in the European Union. It is not a document you need to hand in to get a working permit or a residence permit, nor is it a document for acknowledging your qualifications or vocational training.

Thus, the name is quite irritating, although the idea behind the Europass is promising. It is a service to facilitate communication of your skills, qualifications, education and other job application documents. It should provide a platform to facilitate comparison of skills, different university degrees and other qualifications.

Education and training authorities can define and communicate their curricula content, citizens can use predefined forms for e.g. their CVs, language skills.

If done and used by a majority this would enable employers to understand the skills and qualifications of their workforce more easily and comparison would be facilitated and job application rounds in the EU could become fairer and more transparent.

Additionally, it is possible to ask for the “Europass Mobility” document, which records knowledge and skills in other European countries, for the “Certificate Supplement”, which describes the knowledge and skills acquired and is based on your education and training certificates. Further, the “Diploma Certificate” is issued on basis of your knowledge and skills acquired by holders of higher education degrees.

However, these are lot of “ifs”, “cans” and “woulds”. The Europass has still some flaws: it is a platform providing several documents and forms, however they are still to be filled in by the persons themselves and no one has to fill them in. There are no real guidelines to fill in the Language passport or the CV, which makes comparison subjective and not really easier than comparing two different CVs.

It is questionable to what extent the Europass meets its objectives at the moment and how useful it is at the moment. However, it is a good idea and hopefully in some years comparison of skills, qualifications as well as of academic and vocational training is fair and easier throughout Europe. To achieve this, however, we need some musts and guidelines and really comparable documents and grade scales.

BLUE CARD EU – how to apply

This entry is part of 2 in the series EU BLUE CARD

We are asked very often, “can I apply for Blue card EU electronically?” – Regarding Germany definitely no:

The Blue Card EU is a specific work permit for NON EU people. It is not possible to apply for the Blue Card EU online. Although, there are some differences on the exact procedure of applying throughout some German cities, overall the procedure is the same.

You have to go to the authority in person (at some authorities you even need to make an appointment beforehand). Furthermore, you have to hand in specific documents and forms and therefore have to bring all papers with you to the authority (hint: check gohelpy to know which documents you need and how to prepare them).

In order to save time and money you check if you meet the criteria for the EU Blue Card before applying:

  • You have a binding job offer (on expert level or job of the white list)
  • You have recognition of your professional and vocational training
  • Your salary is higher than € 50,800 (job of white list i.e. IT, Doctor, scientist  € 39,624 per year)

It is only possible to apply for the EU Blue Card if you fulfill all criteria and have all documents with you when applying in person at the authority.

Startup scene Germany

New star on Germnay’s startup scene – Hamburg gains impotance

Berlin is the heartland of the German startup-scene: good infrastructure and low housing price. However, one city is catching up – Hamburg. The Hanseatic town is catching up fast and even leading concerning Tech-Startups.

Following a survey Hamburg meet the current trends for choosing a startup location. Founders of young technology-enterprises estimate that the Hanseatic city will gain in importance even further as a study of PwC indicated. Hamburg ranks with 74% best out of 9 compared cities, followed by Berlin and Frankfurt a. M.

At the bottom maneuver, according to the study, Stuttgart, Dresden and Karlsruhe. Not even 50% of the 500 interviewed Start-up-founders believe that these cities will increase their importance in light of the startup-scene. Munich, Cologne and Düsseldorf reach mean values. The study is based on the European Digital City index, which includes all German cities.

Reasons for the assessment are unknown. Hamburg is amongst other a location for media and trading enterprises. More than half of the respondents operates in the sectors of information- and communication technology followed by E-commerce (25%).

Berlin’s top-employers

This entry is part of 8 in the series TOP TEN

What do Deutsche Bahn, Vivantes, Charité, BVG, Deutsche Rentenversicherung, Siemens and KPMG have in common? – On the first sight: not a lot besides there large company size and being based in Berlin.
However, you should have a closer look at those companies. In times of scarce employees and problems to fill employment vacancies with talented and appropriate people these companies developed programs to enhance conditions of employment and to create a better working atmosphere.

These programs include flexible and individually adjusted working models, family friendliness as well as diversity. Other points are programs and support for health and leisure activities as well as initiatives to improve the atmosphere between the employed and between the different working levels. Outstanding: KPMG provides every employee with the opportunity to take up to 4 hours per month to follow voluntary activities.

 

Relocation and Digitalization for migration?

Relocation is a long and well-known but costly thing. It is more a service offered to highly settled managers and high-end salary earners than a service for average earners. Furthermore, it became dramatically complicated and unclear due to increased digitalization and more and more websites providing information.
How can relocation get clearer again? And how could the process of digitalization be used to increase proficiency of relocation, to facilitate migration from one country/city to another country/city and how could we make relocation available for average earners and the broad population?
Nowadays the main problem is that every city itself provides a bulk of information on its city website, however most of the time in the country’s language only, or without related links or further information regarding specific documents or specific steps one has to take. Not everyone can effort to engage private relocation services and those people have to wander alone through the jungle of different websites, languages and chaotic documents to get the information they need to organize their migration.
The new idea is to combine relocation services with digitalization in such a manner to make it easy and affordable for the vast majority of people moving from one country to another. Online-Portals such as gohelpy provide all the information you need in multiple languages, and most importantly: on one platform! You do not need to search multiple websites or research for hours the specific documents you need for e.g. a renting contract or your registration with the municipality. Those portals provide all information, steps and documents you need and adapt it to your desires and circumstances! Those portals digitalize the old relocation service and develops it further on to another level: away from an upper class, top-salary earner service to a service for everyone!
Try it out now!

Tallinn – Berlin: a win-win partnership for startups

A delegation of several different start-up companies from Berlin visited Tallinn, Europe’s heart of digitalization and start-ups. “48h- Tallinn” was a short trip to the Labs and start-up centres of the Estonian capital.
Both sides would benefit immensely from a partnership between Estonian start-ups from Tallinn and start-ups in Berlin. Estonia being the most digitalized European country, providing its citizens with the opportunity to vote online, make their tax declaration online and providing an extensive e-government, the start-ups from Tallinn are technically advanced to those from Berlin. Berlin’s start-up scene can learn from Tallinn’s start-ups and could digitalize faster and more efficient. The Estonian side however would benefit from the partnership through access to the large German market. By cooperating with start-ups from Berlin, Tallinn’s start-up scene could expand to the German market, as well as attracting more German investors to the Estonian start-up scene.
Therefore, this is a win-win situation and we are glad to welcome the Estonian start-ups here in Berlin!

How useful are opendays, career fairs and Co?

In nearly every month and in every bigger city multiple career days, career fairs. open days at universities or trade fairs about different universities take place. How useful are those trade fairs and open days? Does it make sense to visit such events?
YES!
Of course you do not need to visit every career or study fair, and of course attending every University openday is not even down-to-earth, but to get an overview of todays possibilities, opendays and career fairs are the way to go.

Today there are so many different Bachelor and Master studies, most of them you do not even know now and cannot imagine that those studies exist. Fairs of the different Universities or study programmes provide a good overview of what is possible. Get inspired by those fairs! It might happen that you find a study programme meeting all your desires but is relatively unknown, wherefore you have not heard about yet.
Similarly, career fairs: You are done with you studies but not sure where to head to? Get inspired by the vast range of possible jobs. Make good contacts and expand your network at those events.
And once you found interesting study programmes or traineeships you can visit the opendays of the universities/study programmes and traineeships you are interested in. Most of the time these specific events provide more into-depth information and easier opportunities to network.

Therefore, take your chance and visit one or two or more of the many career, job and uni fairs in Germany to get inspired and kickstart your career!
We listed some of the upcoming events in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne and Co.

  • Berlin: Connecticum (25.04-27.04.2017), Studyworld 2017 (12./13.05.2017)
  • Hamburg: Talente kompakt (27.04.2017)
  • Stuttgart: Stuzubi (29.04.2017)
  • Köln: meet@th-koeln (03.05. & 04.05.2017)
  • Düsseldorf: Master and more / Bachelor and more (05.05. & 06.05.2017)
  • Frankfurt: Jobmesse Einstieg (21./22.04.2017)

Top 10 Fun facts – Hamburg

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. John Lennon said: “I was born in Liverpool but raised in Hamburg
  2. When Hamburgers refer to the DOM they do not mean a church or cathedrale but a huge fair, taking place three times a year in Hamburg
  3. Hamburg has approximately 2500 bridges and hence not only more than Venice, Amsterdam and London combined, but it has more bridges than any other city of the world
  4. There are more millionaires living in Hamburg than in any other German city
  5. Hamburg is 7 times bigger than Paris and 14% of Hamburg is green space
  6. In Wedel is the ‘Willkomm-Höft’ situated. The only ship greeting dock of the world. It welcomes every ship entering the harbour of Hamburg with the national anthem and flag of the originating country
  7. The VIP-seats of the FC St.Pauli Stadium offer each an own Astra Pils tap as well as a small ice-rink where fresh Currywurst is served
  8. The Miniature Wonderland Hamburg is the largest railway museum as well as the largest model railway in the world. It inherits more the 12km of railway lines
  9. Only men as well as those women working there are allowed to enter the ‘Herbertstraße’ in Hamburg
  10. “Hummel, Hummel” “Mors, Mors” is a very common salutation in Hamburg. However, it is mere used as a distinctive mark and a battle cry among Hamburgers

ICH-Will-Deutsch-Lernen

 “ich-will-deutsch-lernen” new onlineplatform for refugees and migrants

The German „Deutsche Volkshochschul – Verband”  provides a tool to support migrants and refugees in learning German. Name of the webportal is “ich-will-deutsch-lernen”. The available platform implied a German language course which helps to learn and improve German language skills, starting from level A1 to level B1. The Volkshochschul – Verband want to support the integration of refugees and migrants in culture and social living.
The content of the digital courses is according to the rules of integration courses in Germany.
Furthermore the portal offers an extensive range of material for alphabetisation. And last but not least the portal provides also one tool to improve German professional jargon. The user can choose out of 30 cross-sectoral scenarios and 11 professional communication activities.
Everybody may use the tool: do-it-yourself-learner, teachers and professional learning classes.
Teacher of integration courses and German courses have to register and build up their own class online. Then they are able to supervise their participants. Learners who start on their own will be supervised by tutors of DVV.
ich-will-deutsch-lernen.de

update: there are new features available

Berlin gets ready for digital future

The new ” Einstein centre Digital Future”  in Berlin will create a multi collaboration and interdisciplinary research environment for increasing digitalization. Scientist from all over the wolrd will work about digitalization.
By now are round about 75.000 people employed in digital economy in Berlin.

Berlin gets more than 50 new It – professors. They should help to promote Berlin with the subject of Digitization further about the new “Einstein-Zentrum für digitale Zukunft” (Einstein’s centre for digital future). The scientists should build up networks to other disciplines: from medicine to archeology, in clothes integrated chips up to researches to the digital town. Furthermore, the effects of digitalization i.e. world of work should be investigated. Christian Thomson, president of the University of Technology Berlin said, “such a concentration in It research, as it will be situated in Berlin then, will be unique in Germany and a big chance for Berlin as science location”. The scientists should start to work 2017.

Right now first calls for tendering are puplished.