A new home! #ChallengeAccepted
Fearing war and violence, Omar Isa left his home country Syria in 2016. In the hope of a better life he set out and arrived in Heilbronn after four months on the run. There the 30-year-old stood before nothing.
He neither spoke German nor had money in his pocket. But the young Syrian was lucky. Thanks to the support of thyssenkrupp’s we.help aid program, he completed an apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic and learned German.
You have been in Germany for four years. What are you doing now?
When I came to Heilbronn back then, I first took a German course and went to the Federal Employment Agency. I really wanted to find a job and was looking for help. There I learned about thyssenkrupp’s project we.help for refugees. I was lucky. The Federal Employment Agency supported me, and so I came to thyssenkrupp System Engineering GmbH here at the site in Heilbronn.
What is the we.help project about?
we.help is a thyssenkrupp aid program to help people in need quickly and easily. Work plays an important role in social integration. For example, thyssenkrupp offers apprenticeships and internships as well as jobs for skilled workers and academics to help refugees build a life in Germany on their own.
How did you get started?
The beginning was difficult for me. Everything was new, I had to get used to the colleagues, the language, the culture, even the food in the canteen. But thyssenkrupp helped me. To help me find my way into working life, I was offered a two-month intensive language course within the company. Every day I studied German grammar and vocabulary for eight hours, but without language skills I wouldn’t have made much progress in my new life in Germany. After the language course I was given the chance to visit the training centre for four weeks to get to know the different professions and the company.
Which profession did you learn in your home country?
After graduating from school, I did an apprenticeship as a technician and worked in a petroleum refinery. But I was ambitious and then studied law for another four years. But at the same time the war began and I had to escape.
How did you like the internship at the training centre?
I liked it. I got to know many different professions. But I liked the job of industrial mechanic best. The work is interesting, demanding and varied, just what I was looking for.
In the meantime, you are working as a trained industrial mechanic, what’s next?
Yes, right. At the site in Heilbronn, technical equipment for the automotive industry is built, and I and others in the team ensure that all machines run smoothly. My work is important to me, and I had good final grades. So it could well be that I’ll qualify as a master craftsman or technician. It’s all good. But my family lives in Syria and so sometimes I get homesick. I am 35 years old. So I want to found a family here first and take care of my private life.
Is there time for hobbies besides work?
Of course. We have a 35-hour week. That’s ideal for me, because I still go to school and learn the German language. But in the evening I look forward to a book in Kurdish, my mother tongue. If there is enough time and space, I even write my own stories sometimes. Besides, I meet with colleagues for a drink after work every now and then.
thyssenkrupp in one word?