Competence Centres of the Network IQ

Besides consulting and supporting the regional networks, the competence centres are responsible for the quality of activities and services in their respective field. Testing innovative approaches to integration is also one of their tasks. The competence centres combine practical experience and academic expertise. They also provide recommendations to decision makers in politics, business and public administration at the federal level.

Competence Centre for Counselling and Job Training of Migrants

The IQ Competence Centre for Counselling and Job Training of Migrants  supports and advises members of the Network "Integration through Qualification (IQ)" in two areas: counselling on credential recognition and job training as well as bridge training schemes in the context of the Recognition Act. The competence centre disseminates results and findings from these areas to decision-makers in politics, administration, business and the expert community.

The specific foci of work of the IQ Competence Centre for Counselling and Job Training of Migrants are:

  • Promoting the professionalization of IQ advisers and trainers by offering training courses, information material and networking events that facilitate the exchange of practical experience

  • Supporting the quality development and quality control of training schemes and advice

  • Continuously developing and providing concepts, processes, instruments and practical guidelines

  • Developing virtual bridge training schemes for academics

  • Promoting thematic and interdisciplinary exchange within the Network IQ by organizing conferences, expert meetings, etc.

  • Monitoring of counselling activities and job training schemes offered by IQ

  • Preparing and disseminating monitoring results - together with research findings to politics, administration, business and the expert community.

Competence Centre for Vocational German Language

The Competence Centre for Vocational German Language in the Network (IQ) operates at the interface of labour market, further education and second language teaching.

At both, the federal and the regional level, we are dialogue partners for actors from education, administration and research. We coordinate the professional exchange between the partners involved. Moreover, we design, coordinate and support further training opportunities in the area of vocational German language training in order to ensure the quality in this field.

Service for Quality Assurance

  • Development and transfer of quality standards for occupational German language teaching

  • Development and testing of concepts and instruments, for instance

    • for integrated occupational and language learning

    • for language awareness in vocational education and training

    • for the in-company training course "German at work"

    • Seminars for language trainers, counsellors and employees in the private sector who seek support for the implementation of the training module "German at Work"

Dialogue with the academic, administrative and policy community

The Competence Centre is in constant exchange with representatives from the academic, the administrative and the policy communites. While the dialogue with academia focusses on research needs, the dialogue with representatives of public administration (for example the Federal Employment Agency or the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees) focusses on strategic objectives, such as the improvement of conditions for language and professional training as well as for occupational German courses. In detail, this means:

  • Anchoring integrated occupational and language learning (IFSL) in labour market policy instruments

  • Transfering the quality criteria into the procedures for public procurement of labour market measures

  • Supporting the implementation of public services for occupational language training

  • Coordination of the national dialogue forum on vocational German language, with the participation of practicioners, public servants and academics

  • Cooperation at the federal level

We cooperate with partners from the other IQ Competence Centres and the regional IQ networks to develop good practical approaches and to transfer them to other regions.

Activities in cooperation with these partners are:

  • coordinating further education for teachers in occupational German language courses

  • further education for vocational teachers and counsellors to increase their language awareness

  • informing and advising decision-makers in education on course design and the transfer of the quality criteria

  • supporting the implementation of the ESF-BAMF programme for work-relating language training

  • In-company training: lobbying, acquisition of companies

You can reach the portal of the Competence Centre for Vocational German Language at:

Competence Centre for Intercultural Opening and Anti-Discrimination

By means of intercultural awareness-raising of labour market actors, the fight against discrimination and diversity management, the IQ Competence Centre for Intercultural Opening and Anti-Discrimination aims to foster diversity in companies and society in general. With its expertise, the competence centre supports the Network IQ on the thematic area "Developing Diversity": It provides technical and practical information - for example in the form of publications, training curricula, concepts and presentations - and offers advice upon request. The working groups set up by the competence centre enable exchange, networking and knowledge transfer between members of the Network IQ.

Our main topics are:

  • Intercultural competence development and intercultural opening, inclusion, awareness raising

  • Anti-discrimination: AGG (General Equal Treatment Act), positive measures, discrimination-free and culturally fair recruitment procedures

  • Diversity management: Dimensions of diversity, diversity check, operational diversity monitoring, diversity-oriented job descriptions and application procedures

Our activities are:

  • Education and training: Designing target group-specific training courses, training of multipliers, placement of trainers, quality development

  • Information offers: practical guidelines and working papers, knowledge tools, dossiers, good practice collections, presentations, expert events, workshops

  • Transfer between academia and practice: Continous review of the relevant academic debate and transfer of expertise into the Network IQ; knowledge exchange with representatives from politics, research and business

Our target groups are:

  • regional IQ networks and IQ sub-projects

  • Federal Employment Agency (BA), employment agencies and job centres

  • small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

  • local authorities, politics, science and business

The IQ Competence Centre for Intercultural Opening and Anti-Discrimination is implemented by the organisation VIA Bayern e.V.

Competence Centre on Migrant Entrepreneurship

"Setting-up | taking over | securing businesses" – these are the current fields of work of the IQ Competence Centre on Migrant Entrepreneurship. We focus on migrants already living in Germany, as well as on those who come to Germany as professionals or refugees.

We want to give you an impression of the many facets of migrant entrepreneurship. Since the beginning of the millennium, start-ups by migrants have experienced a boom that has largely gone unnoticed by the general public and academic discourse. Migrants are responsible for about 50 percent of all start-ups and account for approximately 20 percent of all self-employed persons registered in Germany.

Their higher-than-average start-up rate and variety is evident in various sectors: they include doctors and tax consultants as well as kebab shop and nail studio owners. Social entrepreneurs are also no exception, as our portraits show.

In spite of all the euphoria, immigrants have to overcome significant obstacles on their way to self-employment. These range from access to information on self-employment and legal requirements regarding their residency status to the recruitment of skilled workers and apprentices and the transfer of companies to suitable successors.

These challenges need to be faced and appropriate concepts have to be made available. We can rely on tools developed together with colleagues, inlcuding the ideal-typical startup process, the multi-lingual dossier on terms relating to startup support, the seminar for individual and target group specific consulting. Migration-specific instruments for the consolidation of companies and company succession are currently being developed.

Our initiatives also focus on the high number of international students in Germany: Students, graduates and skilled workers from non-EU countries are still barely regarded as potential entrepreneurs. Therefore, we started the website "We're Setting up Business in Germany" in order to provide prospective entrepreneurs with ongoing support.

In the case of refugees, it is not just qualified specialists who are coming to Germany, but also many people with entrepreneurial experience. Their entrepreneurial drive was significantly higher in many countries of origin than in Germany. Voices that are hoping for a new entrepreneurial boom in Germany are becoming loud. How can this development be addressed? Based on our experience, we want to find new ways to meet the requirements of refugees.

Our work and the good practice arising from it do not remain hidden. They are made accessible to the general public thanks to our ongoing dialogue with practicioners, politics, public administration and academia. To this end, we have organised the "Expert Forum on Migrant Economy" as a platform for current issues and developments relating to migrant entrepreneurship in Germany.

Competence Centre for Immigration

The Competence Centre for Immigration works at the intersection between migration research and practical integration work. We mainly work at the institutional level, cooperating with other stakeholders and projects in the thematic area of recent immigration. Our goal is to foster the dialogue and provide practitioners and policy makers – especially within the Network IQ – with recommendations, instruments, methods and concepts to improve the integration of migrants and refugees into education and the labour market.

More information on the Competence Centre for Immigration is available here.