The IQ Network Brandenburg

The IQ Network Brandenburg aims to improve the integration of adult migrants into the labour market in the State of Brandenburg. A total of 16 sub projects with different tasks and target groups are currently working towards this goal.

Our network focuses on:

  • Advice on issues related to training programmes and the recognition of professional qualifications gained abroad
  • Training schemes and skills assessments for people with professional qualifications gained abroad
  • Intercultural opening in labour market institutions and the promotion of intercultural skills amongst specialist advisers
  • Training for migrant companies
  • Labour market training for multipliers in migration-related social work
  • Fair Integration Brandenburg (advice on employment law for refugees and non-EU nationals)
  • Immigration Information Centre for Skilled Workers

The IQ Network Brandenburg is part of the Germany-wide Integration through Qualification (IQ) network, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the European Social Fund (ESF). We work with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Employment Agency (BA).



Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Energie des Landes Brandenburg
Referat Arbeitsförderung und Fachkräfte
Heinrich-Mann-Allee 107
14473 Potsdam

Franziska Lohse (Projektleitung)
Tel. (0331) 866-1976
Fax: (0331) 866-1908
E-Mail: franziska.lohse(at)mwae.brandenburg(dot)de

Lena Haselhorst (Stellvertretende Projektleitung, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Begleitung der Informationszentren für Fachkräfteeinwanderung)
Tel.: (0331) 866-1974
E-Mail: lena.haselhorst(at)mwae.brandenburg(dot)de

N.N. (Finanzcontrolling)

N.N. (Begleitung der Anerkennungsberatungsstellen und Faire Integration, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit)

Kathleen Schäffer (Begleitung der Qualifizierungsprojekte, Finanzen)
Tel. (0331) 866-1978
E-Mail: kathleen.schaeffer(at)mwae.brandenburg(dot)de

Annabell Ertel (Qualitätssicherung, Begleitung der TP Interkulturelle Öffnung, Migrantenökonomie, Fortbildungen zum Arbeitsmarkt für Multiplikatorinnen und Multiplikatoren)
Telefon: (0331) 866-1975
E-Mail: annabell.ertel(at)mwae.brandenburg(dot)de

Kerstina Grunow (Bewilligung und Verwendungsnachweisprüfung)
Telefon: (0355) 49917 115
E-Mail: kerstina.grunow(at)mwae.brandenburg(dot)de

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The IQ support programme

Around 21.2 million people with a migration background were living in Germany in 2019. That is equivalent to 26.0 per cent of the total population.
Many factors contribute to unemployment being around twice as high among people with a history of migration as in the rest of the population. Germany has seen increasing levels of immigration in recent years – in particular from EU member states and the world’s crisis regions. Many of these immigrants have professional qualifications or other valuable qualifications that are often not recognised here. At the same time, shortages of skilled workers in Germany are becoming increasingly acute.

The role of the Integration through Qualification (IQ) support programme

In this context, it is essential that we maximise all the potential that we have in Germany, especially of people with a migration background. The Integration through Qualification (IQ) support programme has been working to improve employment opportunities for people with a migration background since 2005. The key idea of the programme is that professional qualifications gained abroad often lead to work that is appropriate to the individual’s level of education, regardless of their residence status.

Perceptions of people with a migration background are often dominated by what they lack. It is vital to raise awareness of immigrants’ potential and to tackle discrimination, not just so that we can build a diverse society, but also so that we can successfully integrate people with a migration background into the labour market. Developing and embedding intercultural skills amongst labour market stakeholders therefore remains a key objective for the IQ support programme.

The IQ support programme is active in all 16 federal states and runs around 380 sub projects. In recent years, it has proved to be an important point of contact for immigrants and refugees who are looking for suitable employment. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the European Social Fund (ESF). We work with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Employment Agency (BA).

A new area of activity has been added to our existing services for the 2019-2022 funding period: establishing and developing regional networks for skilled workers. In this context, we take a sustainable approach to two objectives set by the Federal Government – making better use of the foreign professional qualifications of people living in Germany and promoting the immigration of skilled workers.

The work of the support programme focuses on four key areas of activity:

Advice on the recognition process

The IQ programme helps people with foreign qualifications become integrated into the German labour market by providing advice on the recognition process. The recognition of foreign professional qualifications is the central focus of our work. Around 100 IQ advice centres provide support to people seeking recognition, at all stages of the process, and provide information on the appropriate supplementary training courses and other measures to offset any differences in qualifications. The new Fair Integration programme means that all federal states have advice centres that offer refugees advice and support on social welfare law and employment law.

Training schemes under the Recognition Act

The sub projects in the IQ support programme’s second area of activity offer supplementary training to help people with a migration background achieve full recognition of their foreign professional qualifications. Training schemes can be used to offset any training requirements to secure full recognition in regulated professions. We also offer bridging qualifications for graduates in non-regulated professions to help them find suitable employment in their specialist field.

Developing intercultural competence among key stakeholders in the labour market

Within its third area of activity, the IQ support programme offers training and advice to develop intercultural competence in job centres, Federal Employment Agencies, municipal administrations, small and medium-sized businesses and their trade associations. We aim to raise intercultural awareness, to promote intercultural acceptance, and to break down discrimination.

Developing regional networks to promote the immigration of skilled workers

The IQ’s fourth area of activity supports skilled worker recruitment networks, which have been in place since 2019, by providing target-group-specific expertise and by bringing together existing initiatives and stakeholders in the field of skilled worker recruitment. The aim is to develop regional and local strategies for the recruitment of skilled workers and promote coordination between services aiming to integrate immigrants into society and the labour market.

The structure of the IQ support programme

The key task for the 16 state networks is the implementation of the support programme in the regions. Each state network is led by a coordination office and includes additional sub projects. They offer advice across Germany on the recognition process and training courses for people with foreign qualifications, and develop and deliver top-up training courses as needed to offset any differences in qualifications. They also provide services to labour market stakeholders by providing information, advice and training sessions to raise awareness of the specific issues affecting migrants.

Alongside the state networks, there are five IQ competence centres that address migration-specific issues throughout Germany. These are responsible for providing state networks with expert advice and support. They develop training schemes, tools and guidance to promote the integration of people with a migration background into the labour market. A further area of responsibility is the provision of expert advice to decision makers in politics, business and public administration. This can include the development of quality standards, training courses and materials, and the dissemination of research findings.

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