"Integration through Qualification (IQ)"

Language Training in the Network "Integration through Qualification (IQ)"

Since 2005, the Network "Integration through Qualification (IQ)" has been working in the field of language training with the aim of improving labour market opportunities for people with a migration background. German language proficiency is alongside professional qualifications, a crucial requirement for successful labour market integration. Changes in work structures and in the organization of work have increased the requirements for employees' and apprentices' language skills in practically all sectors and professions. The rising demands on communication represent challenges in particular for low and semi-skilled employees with a migration background. Consequently, they need further language training to secure their long-term employability and so that they can take part in advancement training. Furthermore, in the context of the recognition of foreign credentials, central importance is attached to vocational language training. Support services for language training are necessary to achieve labour market inclusion of new immigrants, such as refugees and asylum seekers. The Network IQ offers bridge training and follow-up training for people who have undergone a credential recognition process and who lack qualifications for full recognition. An integral part of these training measures are support services to strengthen language skills, both on the level of generic communication and occupation-specific language.

The spectrum of IQ language training in the 16 regional networks is very broad and diverse. For example, it ranges from the online course "Communication in Hospitals" for healthcare and nursing staff and individual language coaching for immigrants with technical, scientific or economic qualifications taking part in bridging measures right up to professional language courses for people with qualifications in social work and teaching professions who already meet the subject requirements but do not yet have the language proficiency required for full recognition.

Language trainers, course planners and specialist teachers occupy a key position in designing and carrying out the tailor-made language trainings for various professions and qualifications. Enabling and guaranteeing their  exchange of experience and continuous further education and professionalization is a further important focus of the work of the Network IQ in the field of language training.

Not least, it is about drawing the attention of players on the labour market to the needs of immigrants with German as a second language. For example, counsellors are given advice and practical information on how they can communicate with their clients in their everyday work especially when it comes to words, sentences and texts with complex contents, and which may refer to important legal requirements and have a bearing on existential decisions. Small and medium-sized companies are advised on how they can turn workplaces into learning places to promote communication in the company.

The training projects and counselling offices are supported at the federal level by the IQ Competence Centre for Vocational German Language for all aspects of language training.

Vocational German: What’s that?

Vocational German courses do not solely concentrate on the relevant specialist vocabulary or on improving grammar: communication in specific situations in career guidance, advice, qualification and at the workplace is at the heart of work-related language training.  

Such language training can take place during career guidance or alongside everyday work, also parallel to technical training. They can be carried out at a vocational school, in adult education facilities or directly at the workplace. They can prepare for the labour market in general, for a specific professional field or even for one particular profession. Last but not least, they may focus solely on the language dimension of occupational content or rather interlink technical and language-related learning.