Fair Integration is a nationwide counselling service on social and labour law issues for refugees and other migrants from outside of Europe (third-country nationals).
The advice centres cover labour and social law issues directly related to the employment relationship, e.g.: Wages, working hours, leave, dismissal, health insurance and many more. For other thematic issues - e.g. job search or residence status - referrals are made to specialised counselling centres and institutions.
In the advice centres people who are already in work, training or internship can get advice on specific questions. Preventive counselling on working conditions is also possible. The counselling centres also offer workshops, e.g. as part of integration or language courses.
The advice centres support those seeking advice in protecting themselves from exploitation and discrimination and in defending themselves against it. Knowledge of one's own rights and obligations in an employment relationship is essential. This knowledge is the basis for overcoming precarious employment conditions and finding decent employment in Germany.
The advice centres work together closely with other advice centres and support structures. Cooperation partners also include stakeholders from cities and communities, trade unions, Chambers and the labour administration.
Fair Integration is implemented within the Network “Integration through qualification (IQ)”. A range of organisations are responsible for implementation in the sixteen federal states. The Department of Fair Integration is responsible for the coordination and support of the Fair Integration advice centres in the 16 regional states in Germany. The Fair Integration advice centres come under the IQ Regional Networks and are financed by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the European Social Fund (ESF).
Department of Fair Integration
With the start of the new funding phase of the IQ Network, the Department of Fair Integration (“Fachstelle Faire Integration”) was established. Thus, the Department of Fair Integration replaces the structure of the previous funding phase "Support Fair Integration" (2019-2022).
The Department of Fair Integration is one of the three “Fachstellen” in the IQ Network: The “Fachstelle Anerkennung und Qualifizierung” is responsible for the topics of recognition, recognition counselling and qualification nationwide. The “Fachstelle Einwanderung und Integration” is responsible for the topics of immigration and integration in the labour market.
The “Fachstelle Faire Integration” is responsible for the coordination and support of the Fair Integration advice centres in the 16 regional states in Germany. The Fair Integration advice centres advise and inform refugees and third-country nationals on employment and social law issues. People from European countries seeking advice can contact the DGB's Fair Mobility Advisory Network, which provides information to people from Central and Eastern Europe on labour and social law issues.
The Department of Fair Integration is managed by the IQ Consult gGmbH, a 100% affiliated company of the DGB Bildungswerk BUND e.V. The Department of Fair Integration works closely with the DGB Trade unions.
The main tasks of the Department of Fair Integration are:
- Training courses for the advisors of the Fair Integration counselling centres
- Conducting networking meetings for the advisors of the fair integration advice centres for the regular exchange of experience and knowledge
- Further support for the Fair Integration advice centres on difficult counselling issues and through the development of practical aids
- Preparation of counselling content in exchange with the counselling centres, e.g., in the form of case descriptions and dossiers
- Central public relations work for the overall structure of Fair Integration as well as processing and transfer of the knowledge gained to politics and the interested (professional) public
- Direct advice to refugees and third-country nationals on employment and social law issues
- Conception and provision of specific information events and group offers for refugees and third-country nationals in cooperation with the Fair Integration advice centres.
The funding programme "Integration through Qualification (IQ)" aims to sustainably improve the labour market integration of adults with a migration background. The Departmen of Fair Integration is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the European Union through the European Social Fund Plus (ESF Plus) as part of the funding programme "Integration through Qualification (IQ)" and is administered by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Partners in the implementation are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Employment Agency.
Integration through Qualification (IQ)
The mission of the "Integration through Qualification (IQ)" funding programme
In 2022, about 20.2 million people with an immigration history lived in Germany*. This means that new immigration to Germany will continue to increase. Many of the immigrants bring with them qualifications, vocational training or acquired professional skills.
The funding programme "Integration through Qualification (IQ)" aims to sustainably improve the labour market integration of adults of foreign origin. It is of central interest that vocational qualifications acquired abroad - regardless of residence status - lead more often to employment in line with the person's educational background. Raising awareness of the potential of immigrants and reducing discrimination are not only important for a diverse society, but also for the successful labour market integration of immigrants. Building and embedding intercultural competence among labour market actors therefore remains a central concern of the IQ funding programme.
Structure of the IQ network
The regional implementation of the funding programme is the central task of the 23 Regional Integration Networks (RIN). They comprise further operational sub-projects and offer nationwide recognition and qualification counselling for people seeking advice with foreign qualifications, develop demand-oriented adaptation qualifications and implement them. They also provide services for labour market actors by raising their awareness of the specific needs of migrants through information, counselling and training, and by imparting professional know-how.
In addition to the state networks, there are 3 IQ offices that work nationally on migration-specific topics. The Fachstelle Faire Integration (Fair Integration Office) is responsible for the nationwide coordination and support of the counselling centres. The Recognition and Qualification Unit is responsible for the issues of recognition, recognition counselling and qualification nationwide in the IQ funding programme. The Immigration and Integration Unit is responsible for the issues of immigration and labour market and company integration in the funding programme.
The specialist units develop qualification measures, instruments and recommendations for action for the vocational integration of people with a migration history. They are responsible for providing expert advice to decision-makers in politics, business and administration. This can include the conception of quality standards, of qualifications and training materials or the dissemination of scientific findings.
At the federal level, the funding programme is coordinated by the IQ network project. The networking project is the responsibility of ebb Entwicklungsgesellschaft für berufliche Bildung mbH. The project supports cooperation between the actors in the programme, promotes the transfer of good practice within and outside the programme and ensures the public presentation of the IQ funding programme. Together with the specialist agencies, it communicates the results of the IQ work to the ministries, the BA and the specialist public.