MUNICH (Bloomberg) -- Daimler will start offering work experience and German classes for refugees at its Stuttgart production plant, as part of a plan to qualify several hundred people seeking shelter in Germany.
With an initial intake of 40 refugees for a 14-week program, Daimler plans to extend its scope to other sites in Germany.
"Immigration is a real chance for Germany," Wilfried Porth, Daimler's head of human resources, said in a statement. "With this work experience, we're hoping to offer refugees an unbureaucratic way to employment."
Germany expects at least 800,000 refugees to arrive this year, as people flee war and poverty in countries including Syria and Afghanistan.
German industry has welcomed the influx of migrants to Europe's largest economy, which is struggling to find qualified workers to fill jobs in the nation's export-focused manufacturing sector.
Other companies offering employment opportunities include engineering giant Siemens and BASF, the world's largest chemical maker.
Economists agree the country needs fresh workers to counter its poor birth rate, one of the world's lowest. A study released in May by consultants BDO and the Hamburg Institute for International Economics showed the rate even fell below that of Japan, long the poster child for a demographic downturn, with about 8.3 newborns per 1,000 citizens in the five years through 2013.