GERMANY / SYRIAN REFUGEE ELECTRICIAN

Preview Language:   Original
27-May-2020 00:03:09
After fleeing war in Syria, Mohammad Alkhalaf found a chance to get his life back on track at a German railway company through a vocational traineeship. UNHCR

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STORY: GERMANY / SYRIAN ELECTRICIAN
TRT: 03:09
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGES: GERMAN / NATS

DATELINE: 12 FEBRUARY 2020, INTERCITYEXPRESS (ICE) TRAIN-DEPOT, HAMBURG, GERMANY

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, train in the depot
2. Med shot, Mohammad Alkhalaf
3. Wide shot, Alkhalaf and the train
4. SOUNDBITE (German) Mohammad Alkhalaf, Syrian Refugee Trainee:
“The thing I like best is that we have a lot of rules and that we have to stay safe.”
5. Tilt up, Alkhalaf examining train underside
6. SOUNDBITE (German) Mohammad Alkhalaf, Syrian Refugee Trainee:
“I think doctors and electricians aren’t allowed to make mistakes, because lives depend on them getting it right.”
7.Wide shot, Alkhalaf walking the stairs
8. Various shots, Alkhalaf and a colleague in a train
9. SOUNDBITE (German) Ulrike Stodt, Head, Chance Plus Project, Deutsche Bahn:
“Here in Germany qualifications and certificates are very important for long-term integration into the labour market. That’s why it is important to enable this target group to take the normal routes towards getting these qualifications and we want to support them in doing that as best we can.”
10. Med shot, Alkhalaf walking into the train
11. Close up, hand and screen
12. Close up, Alkhalaf and a colleague looking at a screen
13. Close up, shoe on platform lift
14. Various shots, Alkhalaf on a platform lift in front of a train
15. SOUNDBITE (German) Mohammad Alkhalaf, Syrian Refugee Trainee:
“I’m the kind of person who always tries to do his job well.”
16. Various shots, Alkhalaf walking in front of the camera
17. SOUNDBITE (German) Mohammad Alkhalaf, Syrian Refugee Trainee:
“And I’m always learning from my mistakes and trying to develop myself further.”
18. Various shots, Alkhalaf working inside the train
19. Various shots, Alkhalaf walking beside the train
20. SOUNDBITE (German) Ulrike Stodt, Head, Chance Plus Project, Deutsche Bahn:
“We would encourage other businesses to look into taking refugees on, to train them and to integrate them into their workplaces. We’ve had such great experiences and have acquired great new colleagues. It’s worth it.”
21. Wide shot, Alkhalaf coming out of the train
22. Med shot, Mohammad Alkhalaf talking to his instructor
23. SOUNDBITE (German) Mohammad Alkhalaf, Syrian Refugee Trainee:
“At first I lost hope. I couldn’t think about my future because of the war in Syria. Now I have this traineeship with a guaranteed job at the end. Now I can think about my future again and I have hope once more.”
24. Med shot, Mohammad Alkhalaf and his instructor working on a circuit

STORYLINE:

After fleeing war in Syria, Mohammad Alkhalaf found a chance to get his life back on track at a German railway company through a vocational traineeship.

Alkhalaf grew up helping on his family’s large olive farm in Idlib, in north-western Syria. But he was gifted in math and physics and knew he would be suited to a hands-on tech role, so after high school he had hoped to study further.

As a perfectionist, Mohammad loves trains and the precise way they run.

SOUNDBITE (German) Mohammad Alkhalaf, Syrian Refugee Trainee:
“The thing I like best is that we have a lot of rules and that we have to stay safe. I think doctors and electricians aren’t allowed to make mistakes, because lives depend on them getting it right.”

When the war broke out and in 2014 he fled in the hope of joining an elder brother in Sweden. After years of uncertainty he was granted asylum in Germany in 2017.

He had already taught himself some German and wanted to become an electrician. But gaining a foothold was hard and that year he sent out 200 applications. Then he spotted an ad for Chance Plus, an entry qualification scheme with Deutsche Bahn aimed at preparing newcomers for a prestigious vocational traineeship. The scheme offers places to 300 applicants a year across nine German cities.

SOUNDBITE (German) Ulrike Stodt, Head, Chance Plus Project, Deutsche Bahn:
“Here in Germany qualifications and certificates are very important for long-term integration into the labour market. That’s why it is important to enable this target group to take the normal routes towards getting these qualifications and we want to support them in doing that as best we can.”


To become an electrician, Mohammad is learning a range of skills, from installation and control engineering to computer programming. Two years into his training, he already inspects and maintains trains.

SOUNDBITE (German) Mohammad Alkhalaf, Syrian Refugee Trainee:
“I’m the kind of person who always tries to do his job well. And I’m always learning from my mistakes and trying to develop myself further.”

Finding work is a vital step for refugees like Alkhalaf, 28, as they embrace new lives in host countries. Many sectors in Germany have found opportunities for new arrivals while filling gaps in the labour market.

SOUNDBITE (German) Ulrike Stodt, Head, Chance Plus Project, Deutsche Bahn:
“We would encourage other businesses to look into taking refugees on, to train them and to integrate them into their workplaces. We’ve had such great experiences and have acquired great new colleagues. It’s worth it.”

If he passes his exams Mohammad is guaranteed a job with Deutsche Bahn. He’ll have a hand in building the business that gave him a chance.

SOUNDBITE (German) Mohammad Alkhalaf, Syrian Refugee Trainee:
“At first I lost hope. I couldn’t think about my future because of the war in Syria. Now I have this traineeship with a guaranteed job at the end. Now I can think about my future again and I have hope once more.”

Integration programmes at Deutsche Bahn have switched to online and remote learning to cope with the mandatory closure of education facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic and German lessons are held by telephone.
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Category
Geographic Subjects
Creator
UNHCR
Alternate Title
unifeed200527g
Asset ID
2546570