Last summer, Million Hailemariam, who came to Switzerland as a refugee from Eritrea, passed his final apprenticeship examinations, thereby completing his apprenticeship as a plastics engineer with a Swiss federal certificate of competence at Ypsomed. He is now a permanent employee – and is keen to stay with us for a few more years. We take a look back at the completion of his apprenticeship and discuss his plans for the future as well as personal experiences that have had a profound influence on him.

Plastics engineer with a Swiss federal certificate of competence: Following success in his examinations last summer, Million Hailemariam has every reason to feel proud of himself. This was a real highlight for the young man from Eritrea, who, prior to his arrival in Switzerland, would not have believed that he would soon successfully complete an apprenticeship. His family is equally proud of him – including his nine siblings.

Migration, courage and hope

Million looks back on his long, arduous journey to Switzerland with pride. He travelled in a car with other refugees for many days – with no space, little water and even less food. He was even detained with others in a Libyan prison for illegal immigrants. With the help of a police officer, Million escaped the prison and made contact with a ship, which carried the refugees to Italy. From there, he was able to enter Switzerland. During this time, Million never lost courage and always believed that better days lay ahead for him: These experiences have made him stronger, and today there is no doubt in his mind that giving up is not an option for him. When he starts something, he sees it through to the end.

Integration through language and work

In Eritrea, Million would probably have unintentionally taken a different path: Many young men have to do compulsory and indefinite military service – those who serve in the military have virtually no chance of being discharged. Million had just entered the ninth grade when he decided to flee his home country. He knew that a completely different culture awaited him abroad. And he also knew that he would only be able to integrate successfully by learning the language and learning a profession. Now Million is not only fluent in German, he also speaks Arabic, Amharic, French and English.

An attractive corporate culture

At Ypsomed, apprentices stay in employment at the company after successfully completing their apprenticeship. We are proud of Million and his success story: Diversity is an integral part of our corporate culture and the promotion of employee diversity as well as the inclusion of different groups of people are key cornerstones of our personnel policy. We would like to congratulate Million Hailemariam on his permanent employment and we wish him continued success at Ypsomed as well as in his personal development.

A few months ago, we sat down with Million and started to recount his experiences.


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