Migrants in Germany are eagerly joining a new program designed to fast-track them into truck driving jobs as the industry faces a shortage of qualified operators.
The German Red Cross and the Logistics Business Association have teamed up to establish the “Drive into your new future” pilot project, in which 25 companies are participating to offer placements for up to 100 'asylum seekers,' German media reports.
“Within a few days, 90 interested parties applied from all over Schleswig-Holstein and even from Hamburg, and 50 more refugees been placed on a waiting list,” says Ilka Hübner, head of a local Red Cross integration team and co-creator of the program.
“A member of our mobile integration team will assist group lessons in Neumünster and Flensburg, and in addition there will be a refugee representative who will support the trainees during the apprenticeship in the companies.”
According to Daniel Christ, manager of a family-owned logistics business, truckers have a poor image in Germany, and are struggling to attract young men to the industry.
“The days when every boy wanted to become a truck driver, and where TV shows like Auf Auf Achse (‘On the Move’) inspired the profession, are over,” he asserts.
In 2016, German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed a plan to streamline the application process for migrants to become professional drivers, and was flatly rejected by the Association of German Professional Motorists and the Federal Association of Professional Driver Associations.
“We say clearly: no,” said Wolfgang Westermann, who was head of both organizations. “You cannot put everyone on a forty-ton and just go with it… That does not solve any problems.”
Vehicles and large trucks have become a favored weapon for jihadis, and bollards are now commonly used to guard public gatherings across the West from ‘truck attacks.'
A Tunisian 'asylum seeker' hijacked a tractor-trailer and crashed it through a Berlin Christmas market in 2016, killing 12 and injuring over 50.
The Islamic terrorism magazine Inspire has issued explicit instructions about these types of attacks in an article titled “The Ultimate Mowing Machine” which calls for jihadists to utilize trucks as “mowing machine[s], not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah.”
Four young women were killed and twelve others were injured when a tractor-trailer driven by Mohamed Yussuf Jama slammed into stopped traffic on I-55 in Illinois in 2017.
Officials say Jama made “no attempt to stop,” but no citation was issued in what Illinois State Police called “one of the worst crashes” they had ever witnessed. Jama initially refused to give a statement on the cause of the crash when questioned by authorities.
(PHOTO: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images)