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Successful Kick-off of the “Special Initiative Ukraine”

This October, 17 Ukrainian refugee managers in Düsseldorf and 20 Ukrainian refugee managers in Berlin started the “Special Initiative Ukraine of the Manager Training Programme” pilot project of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany.

The aim of the project is to contribute to the rebuilding of Ukraine and the country’s accession to the EU in the medium term. To cope with this immense task, the country’s economy needs qualified decision-makers and sustainable international cooperation. The special initiative addresses these two challenges: Ukrainian managers who had to flee their homeland due to the war and are now in Germany will gain access to German companies and networks by participating in this training programme.

©GIZ/Jannis Reichard

The programme will last 11 weeks. In the first week, the participants get trained for the upcoming two phases of each four-week individual job shadowing placement in German companies. Job shadowing in German companies provides insights into German business practice: “Through job shadowing in my host company, I wish to gain a deeper understanding of the German corporate culture and to establish longer-term contacts that will help me as a bridge manager in the reconstruction of Ukraine.” – says one participant.

In accompanying modular training courses given by Carl Duisberg Center and AHP International, management and cooperation skills are deepened. The program will conclude with two additional training weeks to reflect on the knowledge gained. After the training and possible return to Ukraine, the acquired knowledge and economic contacts are thought to be used for the resumption of a business and/or starting a new business.

All participants have several years of professional and management experience with various profiles: for example, marketing and communication experts, salespeople, IT software developers, project developers for business branch development, lawyers, architects and human resources managers.

Karin Kortmann at the kick-off seminar of the Special Initiative Ukraine in Düsseldorf ©GIZ/Jannis Reichard

The atmosphere among the participants during the introductory event in Düsseldorf was very set from the very start: Everyone was extremely motivated to take part in the programme, first synergies were created, and contacts exchanged. Karin Kortmann, Head of the GIZ Regional Office West, thanked the Ukrainian managers for their commitment to the special initiative and expressed her appreciation for the participants´ ability to turn the horrific war situation into something positive: an opportunity to learn something new.

For the participants from the pilot group Berlin, it was a highlight to get to know the other participants of the special initiative Ukraine personally, what professional backgrounds the participants bring with them and in which companies the job shadowing phases will take place. “I found out about the Special Initiative Ukraine through my Job Centre, and I am looking forward to sharing experiences within the group. I think that the diverse experiences from different professional fields and newly gained impressions will leave a lasting impression on all of us.”

Furthermore, after a joint lunch, input was given on German corporate culture as initial preparation for the first job shadowing phase. The participants also reflected on their expectations and goals regarding participation in the programme.

We wish good luck to all the participants!

Photos in the gallery ©GIZ/Jannis Reichard