News News date:
18.09.2013 at 08:30 o´clock

German courses for qualified immigrants going well

Integration through language

At Frankfurt's 'Volkshochschule' college this March a new course was begun: 'German for Training, Higher Education and the Job Market' (DASA). The course came about as a result of an initiative of the Department for Multicultural Affairs (AmkA), working in cooperation with the Frankfurt Hesse Campus Advice Centre, the AWO Hesse South and Frankfurt College. The aim of the course was that the 15 participants would receive 720 hours of tuition and gain the C1 certificate. The special feature of the course being that the highly motivated but financially needy participants could apply for grants to cover course fees and travel costs. A publishing house provided the teaching materials free of charge. "Providing a differentiated offering for learning German is a key concern of our integration strategy. I would like to thank all of the sponsors, who have made this pilot possible," said Nargess-Eskandari-Grünberg, Head of the Integration Department.

The institutions involved were seeking to make a point through this project. Against the background of the increasing and necessary immigration of well-qualified professionals they wanted to point out the fact that further measures are needed to promote the learning of German. The integration courses (leading only to level B1) and the measures aimed at vocational language support backed by the European Social Fund (ESF) do not sufficiently cover the need. To be accepted onto a degree course at a German university and for many training courses the C1 language certificate is a prerequisite. That applies, for example, also to training as a child care professional.

The course started off with 15 participants. However, two had to drop out due to illness. At the start of July, all 13 participants passed the B2 exam. Grants were given to five women and four men from Africa, Asia, Latin America, south east Europe and southern Europe / EU. They are aged between 21 and 46. The average age is 32. All bring with them from their home country many years of professional experience. Two of the women are looking to train as a child care worker and a carer for the elderly, one of the men wants to start a training course in physiotherapy, as the training he did in his home country is not recognised here. Two participants want to work in their original professions and five are aiming to do a degree.

The grants were obtained by Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg, Head of the Integration Department, and provided by the Crespo Foundation, the Fazit Foundation, Fraport AG, the HFM Frankfurt, the Peter Fuld Foundation, the Polytechnische Gesellschaft Foundation and the ProRegion Flughafen Foundation.

The course combines in exemplary fashion intensive advice before, during and after the course with the funding through grants of course fees and travel costs for 9 of 13 participants. Within a period of 6 months the participants are being intensively prepared for gaining the C1 'German as a Second Language' certificate, which will open up to them new paths into the job market or into training.

The institutions involved are aware that in terms of its funding this project cannot be a model that can be practised on a large scale. Nevertheless, they want to show that the combination of advice alongside the course, sufficient hours of tuition and - where necessary - financial assistance leads to the desired results. In addition to making this point the course will be productive for the participants in terms of access to higher education, training and employment.

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