The city of Hamburg is now training long-term unemployed residents how to work in a super-market environment training for a job in the real world. As found in Der Spiegel, April 2, 2010, the article does not specify what the citizenship status is of the individuals taking part in the program, nor does it specify exactly the incentives offered to these people in order to invite them to go through the training. The program, 40 hours a week, runs anywhere from six to nine months.
“The reintegration of Germany’s long-term unemployed into the work force is an expensive problem for Germany, where several million people receive the Hartz IV benefit….The Federal Labor Agency pays €6.6 billion a year for the retraining of Hartz IV recipients,” states the author, although no exact monetary figure can be pinpointed for the cost of this program.
It is pertinent here in relation to our studies that this program does not appear to discriminate between native and non-native Germans; the article, at least, did not specify. The article cites even, Regla Ketty Morales Leverenz, 28, “from Cuba” as being a participant. It does not distinguish whether she is a citizen of Germany or not, which would be pertinent to a discussion on multi-cultural integration/worker rights.
Either way though, it is important that this program, and others (the article lists job center staff as sending unemployed people “to do courses in everything from filling out job application forms to driving a forklift truck and using powerpoint”) exists. If it discriminates against foreign-workers, then it would seem that the Bureau places the native-German unemployed above the foreign, understandable from a nationalist point-of-view, but not at all economically. If not, then it is doing a strong job of trying to drive and assist the unemployed of Germany back into the work force. Factors for WHY the unemployed lacked jobs was not mentioned.