Job preparation foundation course / Leave for volunteering employees / Additional activities by foundations and company clubs
Leverkusen, 21-9-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — The Bayer Group is helping refugees in Germany with a large number of measures and activities. Depending on their content and purpose, these initiatives are being supported by the company itself, the Bayer foundations or the company sports clubs. “Integrating the refugees is one of the most important challenges facing our whole society at the moment. Bayer therefore intends to use a variety of means of ensuring that young refugees in particular are offered a perspective,” explains Bayer Labor Director Michael König.
Job preparation foundation course for young refugees
The first 20 refugees will begin a foundation course this year at the Chempark Leverkusen site to prepare for vocational training. The course is fully financed by Bayer and organized by certified refugee aid providers. “The course will last a total of four months, with the goal of improving the language skills of the refugees, which are often not good enough for starting work, and providing the participants with initial career guidance,” explains Georg Müller, head of HR for Bayer in Germany. Afterward, the young refugees can complete a four-week practical internship at Chempark to get up-close experience of any careers they might be interested in.
Following the foundation course, successful participants can apply for the regular Bayer pre-training program which from now on will reserve a number of places for refugees wishing to receive vocational training. Bayer set up the pre-training program over 25 years ago to prepare disadvantaged youngsters for later training in a science/technical profession. It will provide the participating refugees with vocational college lessons and application training. More than 80 percent of previous participants in the pre-training program have gone on to start a regular vocational training course.
Decentralized activities for local refugee aid are also planned at many of the company’s sites throughout Germany.
Generous regulation for paid leave for volunteering employees
To encourage Bayer employees to volunteer with established aid organizations such as the German Red Cross and other charities, employees who wish to commit themselves to such work can apply for up to eight working days of paid leave. If they plan to work for smaller, local aid projects, including on their own initiative, Bayer employees can receive two working days (max. 16 hours) of paid leave. In addition, employees are free to use annual leave, time owing and/or flexible working time rules to help refugees.
“The Works Councils are delighted that we have managed to make a contribution to supporting refugees in Germany in such a short space of time. The pragmatic regulation of paid leave is also a clear encouragement for the many employees who are already working on a voluntary basis to help the refugees,” says Oliver Zühlke, Chairman of Bayer’s Central Works Council.
Numerous Bayer foundation activities and programs
Alongside the work of the company, the Bayer Group foundations are also involved in a number of activities across Germany for integrating refugees and providing them with supplies. For example, the Bayer Science & Education Foundation has launched the “Science4Life” academy in Berlin. The goal of this joint initiative with the Berlin Senate is to encourage science education among refugee children. To this end, the foundation is investing approximately EUR 400,000 in the education and future prospects of refugee children over the next five years. Initially, this will be used to train “welcome class” teachers to integrate educational scientific experiments into lessons with refugee children. Next year, particularly gifted refugee children will also be offered internships in the company and a tailored mentoring program as part of the academy’s support.
The voluntary program of the Bayer Cares Foundation is offering financial support of up to EUR 5,000 to employees and others who volunteer in refugee aid projects in the catchment areas of the company’s sites in Germany. “We would encourage all Bayer employees – and also others – to apply for funding from our company foundation for their projects for helping refugees,” explains Thimo V. Schmitt-Lord, Managing Director of the Bayer foundations.
Depending on the situation, the Bayer foundation can also donate money or materials in response to specific requests from charitable refugee aid organizations. This kind of aid is focused on health care for the refugees. Discussions are currently under way about equipping medical first aid stations for refugees in emergency accommodation and reception camps. Alongside this, plans are in place for initial donations to various smaller aid projects at a local level.
Diverse help from the Bayer sports clubs
The Bayer sports clubs and their members are also helping the refugees in a number of different ways. The top-flight soccer club Bayer 04 Leverkusen is taking part in an initiative involving all the clubs who qualified for this year’s Champions League and Europa League. The teams will donate one euro to the refugee aid fund for every ticket sold for their first home game in the competitions. The Bayer sports clubs along the Lower Rhine are also planning various activities such as sport lessons or donations of materials for refugees in their immediate neighborhood.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, the Group employed around 119,000 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.5 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 3.6 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which is to be floated on the stock market as Covestro. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports, which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.