The Intercultural city aims at building its policies and identity on the explicit acknowledgement that diversity can be a resource for the development of the society.

The first step is the adoption (and implementation) of strategies that facilitate positive intercultural encounters and exchanges, and promote equal and active participation of residents and communities in the development of the city, thus responding to the needs of a diverse population. The Intercultural integration policy model is based on extensive research evidence, on a range of international legal instruments, and on the collective input of the cities member of the Intercultural Cities programme that share their good practice examples on how to better manage diversity, address possible conflicts, and benefit from the diversity advantage.

This section offers examples of intercultural approaches that facilitate the development and implementation of intercultural strategies.

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Siemens’ program for integrating refugees

Erlangen shows that labour markets can open up to refugees under favourable circumstances
2016
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With a population of 100 000, the City of Erlangen is home to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (35,000 students) and the numerous branch offices of Siemens AG (25 000 employees). Since January 2015 the city of Erlangen and Siemens have been working hand in hand to provide 10 internships for skilled asylum seekers at Siemens.

The aim is to bring about a win-win-win situation, first for asylum seekers who would receive work-place orientation and self-check their professional capacities, then for firm employees who would reflect on their bias against refugees and migrants, and finally for the company itself which could make use of the potential of qualified asylum seekers. Although the outcome is not yet known, Siemens has recently expanded the programme to other sites in Germany. The company is currently offering internships for 100 refugees and has set up four six-month training programs for young refugees including German language courses, an introduction to German culture and customs, as well as vocational preparation.

The Erlangen-Siemens internship programme targets qualified asylum seekers with completed education and working knowledge of German


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