National Integration Prize 2019
"We can see how valuable it is when migrants and refugees are able to make use of their knowledge and skills here," said Chancellor Angela Merkel at the award ceremony for the 2019 National Integration Prize. This year’s winner is the project "IQ Integration through Qualification – Pharmacists for the Future".
he project "IQ – Pharmacists for the Future" helps migrants and refugees to obtain the qualifications that will help them exercise their profession. IQ stands for Integration through Qualification. The project was initiated by the Rhineland-Palatinate State Chamber of Pharmacists.
Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated everybody involved in the project on winning the Integration Prize. "This demonstrates how integration can work. It shows, above all, how valuable it is when refugees and migrants are able to make use of their knowledge and skills here," said Angela Merkel.
Qualifications recognised in Germany
Thanks to the support provided by the IQ project, all students who have attended courses to date have been able to pass the demanding technical German exam and the pharmaceutical exam. The qualifications they had obtained in other countries have been recognised in Germany and they have been given the official permission necessary to work as pharmacists.
To date four courses have been run by the IQ project. A total of 56 individuals have received training and been granted the official permission to work as pharmacists. All are now working in pharmacies.
All course graduates are now working successfully in public or hospital pharmacies. These examples demonstrate that people who come to us with good qualifications can find high quality jobs in their new home too.
A large number of course graduates work outside large towns and cities in rural areas, where they are ensuring that pharmacies continue to operate and guaranteeing care for patients in structurally weak regions.
Integration is a complex process
The Chancellor explained that the integration of every individual person is a complex process, that involves several phases. The jury always focuses on one particular phase. In 2017 this was arriving in a new country. In 2018 the spotlight was on communicating values, and this year the jury looked at contributing to society. "That is our goal – that everybody is able to contribute to society," said the Chancellor.
The jury for the 2019 National Integration Prize consists of the integration expert Naika Foroutan, the author Autor Ahmad Mansour, the professional football player Sami Khedira and Frankfurt’s long-serving mayor Petra Roth. It is chaired by the former director of the Federal Employment Agency and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), Frank-Jürgen Weise. The Chancellor appointed the jury for a period of three years.
A lot has been achieved in Germany
Annette Widmann-Mauz, Federal Government Commissioner for Integration, explained what has been achieved to date. More than 400,000 immigrants have found work here, and others are undertaking training. Taken together that is a sign of what Germany can manage. "I would like to thank you for your part. We want to show that Germany can integrate," said Annette Widmann-Mauz.
The German government awards the National Integration Prize in recognition of exemplary services in the field of integration. The prize-winner is also to be made known to a wider audience and serve as an example to others who are also working in the area. The prize comes with 10,000 euros and is awarded at the Federal Chancellery.
At a retreat in May 2016, the Cabinet adopted the "Meseberg Declaration on Integration" and initiated the National Integration Prize.