Luxembourg: the « Connections » project (EN)
Type of Information
Michelle Moses; Zina Menhal; Sara Scheer (Login to send email)
Contact Person Function
The essence of the Connections project is the provision of a bridge between asylum seekers / refugees and the working world in Luxembourg, for their integration into the world of work and business.
Asylum seekers are prepared by the project prior to obtaining their official refugee status, thereby increasing the scope of their employment options and shortening the time between being granted asylum and starting paid work.
Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption
The unique skills and experience of asylum seekers and refugees will be recognised and celebrated. They will be introduced to Luxembourg society, and prepare and empowered to integrate smoothly into labour market. Trainings, workshops, mentoring and job attachments will be arranged in order to enable and facilitate all of this.
How does it work
The first Connections event was held in January 2016 at Hariko, in partnership with Just Arrived, NYUKO, and Tiime. It was attended by over 300 people – approximately 200 refugees and 120 volunteers.
The following workshops and trainings are offered to participants throughout the project:
- Initial introduction session: open to all interested refugees and asylum seekers;
- 12 information sessions to introduce Luxembourg society: in English with simultaneous translation in Arabic;
- Screening of the competencies, skills and expectations of potential participants;
- 6 x workshops on preparing for work: in English or French;
- Mentoring and unpaid work experience placements - these last 240 hours / a maximum of six months - plus additional focused training courses;
The project also runs the following essential information sessions:
- History and diversity of Luxembourg;
- Tips and tricks for new arrivals;
- Asylum Law, RMG status;
- Family reunification;
- Measures supporting the unemployed offered by the ADEM;
- Welcome and integration contract CAI, by OLAI;
- The social security system;
- Diploma equivalences;
- Further education options in Luxembourg e.g. University, Apprenticeships, Lifelong learning;
- Overview of the labour laws and the trade unions in Luxembourg by the Chambre des Salariés;
- Intercultural awareness;
- The European Union, it’s institutions and common values.
The Connections timetable lasts six months per intake:
1. Month 1: registration
2. Month 2-3: Step 1 - information sessions
3. Month 3: selection for the second step
4. Month 3-4: Step 2 – workshops
5. Month 3-6: internships / work placements (unpaid).
At the end of the first year of the project, 22 people were offered internships, 2 people were offered a scholarship to the executive-MBA programme at the Sacred Heart University, and 5 people were attending lifelong learning-trainings offered for free by the Chambre des Salariés.
The following companies and individuals offered internships / work placements to participants:
- Etude Felten & Associés;
- G-Media Manso Group;
- Chimi Churri Hariko;
- Croix Rouge Luxembourg for Finance;
- Metaform Luxembourg;
- Deloitte Luxembourg;
- Ferber Hair & Style;
- Dr. Hirsa Firghadani;
- Telecom Luxembourg;
- NYUKO Luxembourg;
- Arendt & Medernach;
- KYC 3;
- Just Arrived;
- Dr. Robert Blanke III;
- Bijouterie Léa.
The Connections project was so successful in its first year that it had to expand in its second, and has continued to go from strength to strength since then. In 2017 it won a Diversity Award, and by 2018 it had 250 participants.
Who will benefit?
Asylum seekers and refugees wanting to explore the challenges and opportunities of working in Luxembourg; Luxembourg professionals and individuals wanting to support, guide or mentor; businesses wanting to host, train or offer work experience and attachments.
Source of funding and Resources used
Connections received funding for three years from the Oeuvre Grand Duchesse Charlotte Foundation (National Lottery), within its Mateneen funding project.