MY TURN − Empowering women with a migration background on the job market

The new federal ESF Plus programme provides support with qualifications, training and employment with social security contributions

09 Dec 2022 | Press release no.56

As a new federal ESF Plus programme, MY TURN has been designed to help women with a migration background to gain qualifications, training and employment with social security contributions. The programme is oriented to women who have recently arrived in Germany and have limited (formal) qualifications and an increased need for support. The programme is able to prevent women from becoming dependent on welfare services over the long term, as the first few years after arriving in Germany are decisive for future employment and success on the labour market.

Throughout Germany, more than 140 sponsors in just under 70 individual or joint projects are receiving funding through the MY TURN scheme. The projects aim to offer women with a migration background a female-specific and lifestyle-oriented approach, specialist advice as well as continuous, trusting and individual support. In practice, this means communicating with the participants actively in-person and at the digital level, and in the first funding round until the end of 2025, providing them with individual support from experienced professionals on their journey into the labour market. In this respect, empowerment activities, advice on balancing family life, a job and child care, as well as support with securing internships and jobs are all planned.

Particular attention will be paid to helping the participants to gain qualifications. The programme will therefore be closely interlinked with the regulatory instruments in the employment agencies and job centres. In addition to this, at more than 20 model locations, mothers with a migration background will be supported in finding and securing regular childcare with a “Child care pilot”. 
In a joint cooperation agreement, the BMAS, the Federal Employment Agency (BA), the German County Association (DLT) and the Association of German Cities (DST) have undertaken to work towards ensuring that more women with a migration background are able to:

  • successfully participate in (certificate based) qualification measures and/or complete a (part-time) apprenticeship,
  • make use of childcare services for their children, and
  • take up employment with social security contributions as a matter of priority, or start self-employment which secures their livelihood.

Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil:
“We need every helping hand and every bright mind to prevent the shortage of skilled workers from putting our prosperity at risk. Women with a migration background offer great potential which we must benefit from. With the MY TURN programme, we are taking a new and pragmatic approach, and focusing on qualifications and long-term support. The ultimate goal is to integrate women with a migration background into the labour market over the long term. Everyone benefits from this: women, their families, and our society as a whole.”

Chair of the Regions at the Federal Employment Agency, Daniel Terzenbach:
“The reasons and causes why many women with migration background have not yet been able to gain a foothold in the German labour market are as varied as their personal migration stories. With the new ESF Plus funding programme, we therefore want to support women who have recently arrived in Germany. In this respect, childcare, gaining qualifications and, of course, providing advice on securing employment are important building blocks. Every successfully-integrated individual is a great personal success for these women, and contributes to securing employment and skilled workers. After all, skilled workers are becoming increasingly hard to find in increasing numbers of occupations.”

German Country Association and the Association of German Cities: President District Administrator Reinhard Sager and President Lord Mayor Markus Lewe:
“We are pleased to be cooperation partners in this federal programme. The counties and cities of Germany are committed to increasing the participation of women who have a migration background in the economy. We are aware that this is a long-term process and that there are many hurdles to overcome. After all, many women with a migration background require support which is adapted more strongly to their individual circumstances.” 
The participating organisations are currently starting their work, and will receive support in the first round of MY TURN funding until the end of 2025. A networking office is also available that supports and helps with the networking of all the MY TURN projects throughout Germany.