Siemens inclusion team visits AfB

The ten-year partnership between Siemens and AfB has secured 14 jobs for people with disabilities at AfB. Siemens and AfB therefore not only exchange information on IT topics, but also on inclusion in the general labor market.

A group of nine people smile cheerfully into the camera. They are posing in front of two abstract flower paintings in shades of green and blue. They are all standing, except for one person. Marina Zdravkovic is sitting in a wheelchair. Pictured from top left to bottom right: Andreas Melzer, Sven Mersi, Tanja Schmettlach, Werner Ahles, Christina Gebhard, Yvonne Cvilak, Anja Spangenberg, Marina Zdravkovic and Yasmin Stößer.

From top left to bottom right: Andreas Melzer, Sven Mersi, Tanja Schmettlach, Werner Ahles, Christina Gebhard, Yvonne Cvilak, Anja Spangenberg, Marina Zdravkovic and Yasmin Stößer. Photo: AfB.

Siemens AG and AfB have been working together for ten years. During this time, Siemens has handed over around 115,000 appliances to AfB for refurbishment and remarketing. This figure shows how important such partnerships are for AfB. They enable us to create jobs for people with and without disabilities.

At the end of July, Marina Zdravkovic, Chairwoman of the General Representative Body for Employees with Disabilities (GSBV), her deputies Werner Ahles, Tanja Schmettlach and Christina Gebhard and Andreas Melzer, Inclusion Officer at Siemens AG, visited the AfB headquarters.

"Participation in working life is a fundamental right for all people, regardless of their individual abilities or disabilities. In an inclusive society and working world, joint efforts are crucial to give people with disabilities the opportunity to develop their full potential," says Marina Zdravkovic. "Inclusion means not only breaking down barriers, but also creating a culture of acceptance and appreciation in which diversity is seen as a strength. From my point of view, we were able to experience this impressively with our partner AfB."

Sven Mersi, AfB partner manager at Siemens, explained many operational details of the collaboration - from incoming goods to remarketing - as part of a guided tour. Anja Spangenberg, AfB's representative for severely disabled employees, and Yasmin Stößer from the company social work department were able to answer many questions on the subject of employment and inclusion.

This led to many interesting conversations:

  • How do we at AfB find out which job suits whom? Stößer and Spangenberg have provided an insight: Through internships and working in different areas, we find individually suitable fields of work and adapt them further if necessary - always with the aim of long-term employment subject to social security contributions.
  • We also discussed many topics that concern both companies: How does job placement and cooperation with the Federal Employment Agency and specialist integration services work?
  • Other topics included dealing with invisible disabilities, the professional reintegration of people with long-term illnesses and much more.

"The visit showed us impressively how well inclusion and sustainability are implemented at AfB. In this respect, we are very proud of the long-standing partnership between Siemens and AfB," says Andreas Melzer, Inclusion Officer at Siemens AG.

It was also about the differences between Siemens and AfB. Siemens is not an inclusive company, but already employs significantly more people with disabilities than required by law. The Inclusion Officer and GSBV are jointly pursuing the goal of further increasing this quota. Siemens sees it as part of its corporate culture to offer people with disabilities attractive and forward-looking prospects within the company.

Podcast: Siemens & AfB über Inklusion

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