Overall, everyone involved in the programme up to now is confident that it is making an important contribution to integration in the field of employment. According to Islam, it is also helping to overcome prejudices. “When you hear about this programme, you imagine having to explain every little thing to the refugees and you think it will take a long time for them to get integrated.” But that couldn’t be further from the truth: “Right from the beginning, in terms of his maturity, independence and manual skills, Raihan was much more advanced than the regular apprentices, who are usually still teenagers.” He only had to be shown how to do something once and he picked it up straight away. He was also integrated into the team incredibly quickly and is held in high regard by all his colleagues. “There was never any need for additional integration work,” says Islam.
Raihan’s life outside ETH is also very similar to the lives of Swiss people his own age: He shares a flat with two people from Switzerland and one from France, goes to cricket practice every Friday evening and enjoys meeting up with his friends.
On this particular Monday, he has arranged to meet Tuemfal for lunch on the Hönggerberg campus. The two men got to know each other in the German classes they took prior to the pre-apprenticeship programme. Tuemfal leads him straight to his favourite canteen – it is clear that the 23-year-old has no problems finding his way around campus. “They know what I’m going to order as soon as they see me,” Tuemfal says proudly as they join the queue at Rice Up.