The Syrian who’s aiming to get refugees jobs in Berlin’s booming tech scene

From the Guardian

Information technology student Hussein Shaker had only one year left of university in Aleppo when his studies were cut short by war. Moving to Berlin as a Syrian refugee, he knew nothing about the tech scene or how valuable developers like him were in the city.

“It was so boring,” he says. “I knew I had good technical experience but I thought I couldn’t get a job in the industry because of my German.”

That was before a colleague introduced him to Remi Mekki, a Norwegian entrepreneur living in Berlin. Mekki told him that tech companies in the city were so desperate for developers, they didn’t care whether employees could speak German.

The pair decided to tackle refugee unemployment together, co-founding the recruitment platform MigrantHire with two other Berliners.

To register with MigrantHire, refugees upload their CV – in English, German or Arabic. The platform’s six-person team does everything else. They iron out legal issues, help refugees get permission to work and prepare them for interviews. During the current pilot phase, MigrantHire has been approached by employers but it also seeks out vacancies that match refugees’ experience, charging a success fee when developers are hired.

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