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  • Dear Readers!

    In Germany super election year 2017 is well underway. The Saarland election has already taken place, with Schleswig-Holstein and the most populous of the German Länder, North Rhine-Westphalia, set to follow in May. General elections for the Bundestag will then be taking place in September. In these times of populism and fake news, this election will play a pivotal role. Germany has the strongest economy and largest population in Europe. The outcome of the election will have repercussions for all of Europe and influence economic and political relations with other countries around the world. In view of the dimensions involved, a key topic unfortunately often takes back seat: recycling and its importance to climate and environmental policy. We wanted to size things up accurately and enquired with all the major political party groups about their platforms concerning environmental policy in the upcoming legislative period and beyond. You will find a summary of the responses in this issue’s feature article and the complete responses online at remondis-aktuell.de. Whether elections turn out to be good for the climate and the environment in general and our growth sector in particular will ultimately be decided by hopefully well informed, active citizens.

    Some legislative bills have been initiated shortly before the elections – for example, the new Commercial Waste Regulation (Gewerbeabfallverordnung). It will involve important changes that have a major impact on our commercial customers when the new regulation goes into effect on 1 August 2017 at the latest. Under the new version, companies producing waste in connection with housing construction will be obligated to separately collect the waste items of paper, cardboard and pasteboard with the exception of hygienic paper, glass, plastics, metals, wood, textiles, organic waste and additional commercial and industrial waste already where it comes about, i.e. at companies themselves. The same goes for construction and demolition waste, which is already to be separated at the building site into the various waste categories such as glass, plastics, metals, wood, insulation material, bituminous mixtures, building material based on gypsum, concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics. This is no doubt good news for improved recovery of raw materials, but it also means greater expenses for customers, who ­REMONDIS will support professionally as accustomed with practicable services in line with laws and regulations. 

    And how do things stand at present when it comes to refugee policy? The number of new persons seeking asylum arriving in Germany has dropped significantly. The biggest challenge now is to successfully integrate these people in our society and the German world of work. ­REMONDIS is taking on this challenge, hiring young people as well as persons with work experience in various fields who have lost their home as a result of war, famine and displacement and now want to venture a new beginning in their adopted country of Germany. A real win-win situation, as a successful start to a vocational career is the best contribution that can be made to a society living together in prosperity and peace. Here as well, ­REMONDIS meets its responsibility to society as a whole, acting in the spirt of its own slogan: working for the future!

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

The workforce is getting smaller and smaller

  • Germany’s current workforce consists of 50 million people and this figure is expected to have dropped to 43.5 million by 2030. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, recently commented on this development at the REMONDIS Forum in Goslar when he said: “It is vital that the country responds to this extremely rapid demographic change and ensures that the refugees arriving in Germany are successfully integrated into society. What is essential here is having a strong and well-functioning economy.”

Ambitious plans to integrate refugees

    Siyamend Ismail from Syria (30) came to Germany two years ago and now works as
    an industrial cleaning specialist at REMONDIS Industrie Service in Recklinghausen

  • Based in the Westphalian city of Lünen, REMONDIS is well aware of its responsibilities as the largest recycling company in Germany and has been making every effort to help refugees get a foothold on the job market. 24 refugees are currently working at the company, ten of whom have started an apprenticeship. They are training to become insulation specialists, pipe fitters, professional truck drivers or IT specialists or are taking part in special apprenticeship preparation courses.

Integration works best when people have a job

The Rethmann family are, therefore, staying true to their company’s mission of accepting challenges and taking responsibility. “The private sector is one of the main cornerstones of our society and so it, too, must do its part to ensure the refugees who have recently travelled to our country are successful integrated,” commented Norbert Rethmann, honorary chairman of the supervisory board of the RETHMANN Group. Taking responsibility also means opening up new horizons for these people who have been forced to flee their homes to escape violence and war, he continued.

It is a well-known fact that having a job is the best way for a person to become well integrated into society. Having your own income and getting to meet people in the workplace create the best conditions to start a new life in a new country

It is a well-known fact that having a job is the best way for a person to become well integrated into society. Having your own income and getting to meet people in the workplace create the best conditions to start a new life in a new country. An apprenticeship is a great way for 18 to 25 year olds to lay the foundations for a promising career and a secure future in Germany.

  • “The private sector is one of the main cornerstones of our society and so it, too, must do its part to ensure the refugees who have recently travelled to our country are successful integrated.”

    Norbert Rethmann, Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the RETHMANN Group

Working closely with local organisations

  • The successful collaboration work between the company and local initiatives is certainly one of the reasons why it has already been able to employ a number of refugees. These volunteers not only provide refugees with the support they so badly need but also help companies to overcome a number of obstacles, many of which are extremely time-consuming. Language problems can also make it difficult for companies and refugees to communicate with each other.

    Yeazdan Sher Ahman from Syria came to Germany twelve months ago; last year he did an internship at ­REMONDIS IT Service in Lünen

  • A number of obstacles have to be overcome

    Moreover, explanations often need to be given to clarify exactly what the different careers entail: what Syrian refugees, for example, picture the work of an electrician to be has very little in common with the job of an electrician at a large German industrial estate. Furthermore, voluntary groups offer valuable support when it comes to dealing with red tape and explaining cultural differences.

    “We are currently working on drawing up concepts that will enable us to offer further refugees a career at REMONDIS. We can, though, be proud of what we’ve already achieved so far,” explained Frank Dohmen, Head of HR at the ­REMONDIS Group. The recycling company will continue to do everything in its power to take on more refugees. At the end of the day, REMONDIS is hoping that by taking responsibility now and helping those arriving in Germany, it is also ensuring that it has a well-trained workforce in the future.

    • Hassan Sow from Guinea (22) arrived in Germany five years ago; last year, he joined REMONDIS Medison in Lünen where is currently doing an apprenticeship to become a warehouse operator

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