Syrian gets to know the work environment at AGRAVIS

The new AGRAVIS trainee in Cloppenburg is rather special. As he is 38, he's not the typical young trainee, and he uses hand gestures and mimicry to make himself understood. However, Khamees Alhajji, a Syrian refugee living in Germany, is accepted and liked in the AGRAVIS crop protection warehouse crop protection warehouse at Industriezubringer 32-38. Whilst his language skills require development, he provides a great deal of technical knowledge – and plenty of enthusiasm.

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Two people who have fun with each other: Syrian Khamees Alhajji and warehouseman Dieter Schirmer.Syrian gets to know the work environment at AGRAVIS
Two people who have fun with each other: Syrian Khamees Alhajji and warehouseman Dieter Schirmer.

The father-of-four lives in a refugee accommodation centre in Cloppenburg and his voluntary guardian, Iris Hones helped organise his placement. Alhajji studied agricultural technology at the agricultural college in Aleppo, and until he fled the country in early 2015 he worked as warehouse manager at the Institute for Grain Processing and Trade in Raqqa. Together with his family, he fled from Syria by foot to Germany, which lasted two months. The Alhajjis have been living in Cloppenburg since 28th May, where the father and mother have already volunteered to take part in a German language course, whilst the children are at school and kindergarten. As a recognised refugee, Khamees Alhajji has been registered as unemployed since January 2016. He does not like that: "I don't just want to receive money. I prefer to work."

AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG was willing to help. Bernd Pusch, the warehouse and logistics manager in Cloppenburg, gained approval from the corresponding departments, Iris Hones clarified everything with the authorities, and soon a normal placement contract arrived in Cloppenburg. On 20th April Khamees Alhajji, the refugee, became Khamees, the warehouse trainee. The Syrian is now spending four weeks learning the German logistics systems of an agricultural trade company.

Bernd Pusch had informed all employees beforehand – especially in making clear that understanding could be a potential problem. "I said this: He's educated, he knows what he's doing. He just can't speak German very well. For me, it was important that Khamees was really working independently and not just watching", emphasised Pusch. Due to the commitment shown by fellow staff, it worked so well that the Syrian was already able to carry out simple orders on the third day and could pick orders himself. "He understood the storage system immediately", explained Pusch.

Everyone only has good things to say about their new trainee. "He sees the work himself, is quiet, and very grateful for the assistance", says Pusch. Warehouse employee Dieter Schirmer, who inducted Alhajji on the first day, added: "He is very enthusiastic and friendly."

Khamees Alhajjji sees his and his childrens' future in Germany. His integration German-language course begins on 23rd May, and he is with AGRAVIS until 18th May. Bernd Pusch is absolutely convinced that Alhajji has a future in Germany – even as an employee: "In September we quadrupled the size of our warehouse. Nobody knows what future personnel prospects this may bring. I would offer Khamees a job immediately when he has finished his German course and if there is enough work available."

Until then, Pusch would be delighted if many other companies in the Cloppenburg region would follow the example set by AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG: "Just do it. It will work out." The commitment shown by AGRAVIS also appeals greatly to customers. Bernd Pusch: "They say: It's great that you're doing something. When considered this way, it's even a good thing for our image."

AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG Kontakt:
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