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New Honorary Consul

After 18 years in post, Jo Chexal retired in June as Honorary Consul for the Republic of Germany.

Her consular district used to include Northumberland, Cumbria, Tyne & Wear and Durham, but more recently, following the retirement of Honorary Consul John Knight, Teesside and North Yorkshire (not Selby) were added to her region.

Over these 18 years, Jo looked after many individuals & families in need of new passports, children’s passports, name declarations, authentication of signatures and copies etc. She helped German nationals (tourists and residents) in all types of emergencies. Those drawing a German pension were able to come to Jo every year to get their Lebensbescheinigung stamped.

And of course, she did a fantastic job introducing the region to visitors (may it be investors or twin town partnerships and so on) and, of course, representing Germany at many local events and initiatives.

Manuela Wendler has now been appointed as the new Honorary Consul, looking after the same region as Jo Chexal. Her consular office will be based at Newcastle’s Civic Centre and she also offers appointments once a week on a Thursday.

If you do require any assistance/an appointment, please contact her either via email (newcastle-upon-tyne@hk-diplo.de) or the office number (07954 034 744).

Please note that it currently takes around 6 – 8 weeks to get a biometric passport. Applications for visas or ID cards can only be made at the Consulate in Edinburgh for residents in the North East & Cumbria.

For information on all consular services in the UK, please visit German Missions in the UK.

Dear Stammtisch Friends

Just to keep you updated regarding any changes for German citizens following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. There is an FAQ section on the Consular Website for Germany, which you may find helpful, in particular while the UK and EU are in negotiations as it states the current situation. The EU has a similar website for EU citizens in general – click here.

Even though we hear just about the ‘divorce’ in the media, you may be interested to learn that the UK and Germany have just announced doubling of funding for a youth exchange initiative, the ‘UK-German Connection‘. Click here for the press release .

If you are a German national and would like to vote in September’s German elections, you need to make sure to register – click Bundeswahlleiter for further details.

Congratulations to the Lake District, which recently achieved Unesco World Heritage status. This will surely bring another boost of visitors to this beautiful part of the UK and make it even more well-known around the world. It shares this status with Waddensee, a nature reserve for which Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands have responsibility for.

One of the best things about Munich, in my opinion, is its beer gardens. If you are visiting and you wonder where they are all located, check out the City of Munich’s ‘Biergartenfahrplan‘.

Holidays are always a great time to improve your language skills. Growing up in a country helps of course – Sandra Bullock is a prime example with her perfect Franconian accent. However, some native English speakers like Mark Twain, found it more frustrating and he ended up writing an essay about our ‘awful language. But author John le Carre just recently made a case for learning German in this Guardian article.

But if a drink helps too, you may want to head to Aldi for their gin (only available in the UK). It is apparently not a bad choice at all as it has been recognised as one of the best in the world. Maybe a tonic from Fentiman’s in Hexham may go well together?

Enjoy your summer holidays, lots of BBQs, ice creams and chilled drinks!

Dear Stammtisch Friends,

Next Monday, 15 May 2017 the Language Cafe at the Tyneside Cinema will host a joint French and German event, following the film Frantz. The film will start at around 6.15pm and there will be a discussion in French or German after the film. There are usually three groups, arranged by language level, so that everyone from beginners to fluent speakers can participate.

Also the Martin Luther Church in Shieldfield, Newcastle invites you again to their annual German Grillfest on Saturday, 24 June 2017. The event will start in the afternoon at 4pm and finish around 7pm. There is an entrance donation of £1 per person (children under 10 are free) in aid of the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund. To help the organisers plan ahead, please get tickets by either calling Oliver on07811 109 312, email him oliverheidrich@yahoo.com or simply turn up on the day.

If you’re still wondering what to do at the next bank holiday weekend, maybe the Northumberland Show at Bywell Hall near Stocksfield could just be up your street? On Monday, 29 May the finest livestock in the country is on show, there will be ‘bake off’ classes, Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling, a tug of war and Britains Strong Man Challenge Qualifier.

No day goes by and there is another ‘Brexit’ story in the papers and, of course, EU nationals are currently living a little bit in limbo. The German Embassy recently released some FAQs regarding Brexit and the impact on German nationals after the referendum, which you may find informative.

Here is also the lastest DIHK Brexit newsletter, which collates information on the latest events and news on this topic.

Also if somebody has recently taken on British citizienship or applies for the permanent residence status and are happy to share this with others, please let me know. I would also be interested in hearing from people who are planning to return to the EU and the challenges that brings.

However, if you are just planning your holidays, one quick piece of advice! Have a quick at your European Health Card, to make sure it is still valid as they expire and you have to renew them. The process is very simple via the NHS website and you should receive your new card promptly.

Honeywell have also shared information about new roles that have opened recently, both here in the North East and in Scotland. They are careers, requiring German in both Customer Service Administration and Technical Support:

Customer Service Administrator
Customer Care Specialist
Technical Support Specialist

Like many of you, I pick up German books when in the country and I can highly recommend these three – coincidentally, they all had as a common theme leaving a home and settling in a new country:

In ‘33 Bogen und ein Teehaus‘, author Mehrnousch Zaeri-Esfahani describes the journey she made as a 10-year old, when her family fled Iran via Turkey before they arrived first in East and then West Germany.

Dörte Hansen’s first novel ‘Altes Land‘ is based a bit closer to home. It follows the lives of two women – one makes a life for herself in Northern Germany after fleeing East Prussia as a child at the end of the war; another ‘escapes’ her life in Hamburg with her young son.

Bella Italia‘ is the first novel for author Daniel Speck, who already has a successful career as a script writer. The book is all about family, Italy (Sicily, Milan, Naples), Munich, cars, fashion, ‘Gastarbeiter’ and takes you on a journey through time, starting in the mid 1950s to today.

If you have books you would like to recommend to our Stammtisch group, then please forward this to me and I’m happy to share.

All the very best on this sunny day!

Dear Stammtisch Friends

The fifth season has now come to an end and I assume you all enjoyed some ‘Krapfen’ or pancakes yesterday (fried, microwaved, or added to soup?).

So if you’re looking for some events in the next couple of weeks, here are some suggestions:

The last of the winter walks in Northumberland National Park will be this Sunday, 5th March between 10:30am and 3:30pm. This month’s 8 mile walk will focus on Tarsetdale and give you the chance to explore one of the lesser known areas of Northumberland National Park. This requires a reasonable level of fitness and starts in Greenhaugh just a few miles out from Bellingham. Click here to register.

InterNations Newcastle Group will then meet next week on Thursday, 9th March from 6pm in the Redhouse at Newcastle’s Quayside. To find out who’s going and register, simply go directly to the InterNations site.

Bernhard is also tempting you with with some Austrian cakes & coffee on Sunday, 12th March  from 2.30pm for another German Stammtisch in the Kaffeehaus Amadeus in Lanchester. Please RSVP him directly so he can make sure he’s got enough spaces as I think it’s always a very popular event. And Lanchester is also very nice for a little spring walk: servus@kaffeehaus-amadeus.co.uk.

Honeywell in Newcastle have also been in contact about vacancies for German speakers in both Newcastle and Motherwell. The customer services roles – such as a customer services administrator or a customer care specialist. Honeywell’s core businesses are Aerospace, Home and Building Technologies, Safety and Productivity Solutions, and Performance Materials and Technologies. If you would like to find out more about these opportunities at Honeywell, please contact Małgorzata Rdest directly by email and she will be able to provide you with a lot more information.

Another request has come in from Med con team GmbH, who provide global medical services and travel safety. They are a partner, for example, of TUI Cruises GmbH and AIDA Cruises and support passengers that have fallen ill.

If passengers need to leave at the Port of Tyne, they would like for German speakers to support them in such a case of need (for example with interpreting, organisation of a taxi or hotel, hospital visit etc). There is a day rate of around €80 (variable, dependent on intensity of the care) and on average requires around 1 1/2 hours per day. Med con team expect around 1 – 3 cases per year, but expect this to increase. If this is of interest to you, please contact Heike Dorn for further information.

Businesses in the North East are also asked to complete a short survey about EU support for business. This gives you also a chance to win a three course meal for FOUR at Finbarr’s, Durham with wine AND champagne.

Europe Direct North East England is undertaking this piece of work on behalf of the European Commission to share news about European Investment Bank funding initiatives for business. They will organise a half day seminar later in the year but a first step is to better understand knowledge of existing projects and programmes.

The prize will be awarded to the first name drawn on 17 March 2017. All respondents will be notified of the outcome by email and agree to Europe Direct forwarding further information about European Investment Bank funding opportunities. Recipients of news updates can unsubscribe from the mailing at any time.

The German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DIHK) has just published its latest newsletter re Brexit. Click here for a copy of the German language newsletter..

And on the issue of Brexit – you all are probably aware that Jo Chexal is the Honorary German Consul here in the North East & Cumbria and assists German nationals with a number of different tasks, such as passport renewals. Obviously it is always important, but even more today to check that your current passport is still valid, even if you’re not planning to travel in the near future. When renewing your passport, you also need a number of key documents, such as your birth certificates. You then should allow between 6 to 8 weeks to receive your new German passport.

If you are thinking of applying for UK residence/citizenship, the British authorities insist that your German passport is in your married name (if that is what you go by). If you haven’t changed it yet, you need to do a married name declaration (under German law, if you were married after 1986). The married name declaration and new passport together can take around 4 to 6 months.

And while you are checking your passport, you may also want to check your UK driving licence. If you have a photo UK licence, they expire after 10 years (again check that you have your correct name & address on it). If you are driving on your German driving licence, the German Consulate website provides more information about legal requirements here in the UK and what you need to do.

Enjoy this lovely spring day & I look forward to seeing you soon!

Kino Stammtisch

I would like to invite you to a Kino Stammtisch next Wednesday, 8 February at 5.40pm. The Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle will show the Oscar nominated German comedy ‘Tony Erdmann‘ as part of its Language Cafe season. You can buy tickets online or simply at the Tyneside Cinema on the day. After the film there will be a get-together with other native speakers to chat about the film with anybody who is interested. It would be great to see you there!

On Thursday, 9 February from 6pm, there will also be another InterNations evening here in Newcastle, this time in Bonbar near the Central Station.

Have a very good week & maybe see you soon!

Welcome to 2017

There is obviously a lot of uncertainty and speculation around Brexit at this moment in time. If Article 50 is triggered by the government and negotiations with the EU are concluded, only then will we know for certain, what changes there will be for UK/EU businesses, what it means for EU/UK residency and movement between countries.

In the absence of clarity, I thought I might from time to time share information from various sources that may be helpful or give some food for thought.

The German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DIHK) now distributes a monthly newsletter re Brexit. If this is of interest to you, here’s a link to register for it. Ireland’s economy, for example, is heavily dependent on trading with the UK and the possible impact was investigated in a report by Dr. Voker Treier (DIHK), Dr. Brian Murphy (Dublin Institute of Technology) and Ralf Lissek. Click here for the publication.

If there are any areas of interest regarding Brexit, please let me know and I will keep my eye out for relevant information.

You may be aware that Germany has around 1,500 forest and nature kindergartens/ groups – the umbrella assocation is the Bundesverband der Natur- und Walkindergärten. Children and their ‘Erzieher’ spend all day outside, playing and exploring their environment – no matter what the weather is like. If you search on YouTube, you can find many examples of videos of such Kindergartens – here’s an introduction.

If you would like to follow in the little ones footsteps, why not explore Northumberland National Park? They are organising a guided Winter Walk in Coquetdale on Sunday, 5 February between 10.30am and 2.30pm. Click here to register.

Have you heard yet about ‘The National Gin Museum‘? Well, it’s a news story I came across on local tv earlier this week. The Managing Director of the Gin Company, that produces the very nice ‘Steampunk Gin’ here in Gateshead, would like to get funding to create exactly that here in the North East. You can either simply donate a sum or donate and get a reward – for example £50 will get you a bottle of gin, plus two entrance tickets. More information can be found on Crowdfunder.

If you now have a drink on your mind, you may want to meet up tomorrow, Thursday, 19 January with the InterNations Group in Newcastle. They meet for the first time in 2017 and the venue is Browns Bar in Grey Street, Newcastle, where you can mingle with people from over 26 countries from 6pm.

Enjoy the rest of this week & all the very best for 2017!

 

Belt Technologies designs and manufactures metal belting and conveyor systems for wide ranging applications in the automation, electronics, packaging, food processing, medical device, tobacco, and aerospace markets.

Based at the European Sales office in Washington, UK, the job holder would have an initial placement at the company’s head office in the USA (BTI) for product training (length of stay dependent on candidate) before returning to the UK to begin work as the Sales Engineer for the German- speaking markets.

Responsibilities

1. Provide professional technical support for the German markets
Using existing knowledge and experience, gained from placement at BTI, provide customers and new contacts with professional , technical support about Steel belt applications . Liaise with BTI to obtain further input as and when needed to the benefit of the customer and help with developing applications.

2. Protecting and growing existing business
Liaise with existing customers and develop relationships with their R&D and purchasing functions. Explore in depth current sales with possible other growth opportunities in mind. Manage price and day to day delivery issues. This will be done in coordination with our Mrs Cartwright( also a native German speaker and customer services rep).

3. Research and acquire new business.
Use knowledge gained to seek out new business opportunities. Pro-actively contact new potential accounts and use leads provided from shows, media, website as well as ones gained from own research. Grow these new contacts into new, profitable accounts.

4. Arrange customer visits – ideally out on the road 1 week out of 4 weeks. The job holder will be following up leads from our website, marketing campaigns and exhibitions as well as service regular key accounts.

5. Manage and tailor the company’s current German media to suit marketing needs.
Follow –up all leads and research new forms of media which will best suit our product image in Germany.

6. Attend German shows as and where necessary. Research new shows. Visit new shows to evaluate with a view to future exhibiting. 2 German shows are planned in 2017.Interpack and Motek.

7. Maintain regular communication with the BTE team.
Develop good two -way communication with BTE team who will be your primary point of contact on a day –to-day basis whilst on visits. A good team fit will be needed so the ability to work within a team is key to the job holder’s success

The Employer reserves the right to assign other duties and other markets.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Engineering degree or several years’ experience in a similar role with technical product.
  • Fluent in German and English
  • Ability to spend several weeks based in USA at head office, at beginning of acceptance of position for training purposes.
  • Experience of sales / distribution of technical product.
  • IT literate- Word/Excel/CRM systems
  • Self –starter/Team player

Remuneration
Remuneration will be offered according to experience and qualifications .

If you are interested in this position, please send your application to recruitment@bte.co.uk.