Employed refugees with vocational qualifications participate more frequently in in-service language courses

Good German language skills are a key factor for the successful and sustainable labor market integration of refugees. The participation of refugees in integration and language courses has increased sharply in recent years.. In the third quarter of 2019, more than 80 percent of refugees who arrived in Germany between 2013 and 2016 had already taken part in such courses. his is shown by evaluations using data from the “Living in Germany” study, in which researchers from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) investigated which individuals also participate in a language course at the same time as they are employed.

Language courses to date have mostly been geared toward acquiring German skills before taking up gainful employment. Only very few refugees are gainfully employed while attending a language course. Their share of all participants was 12 percent on average. The results also make clear that refugees with vocational training and refugees working in personal service occupations take language courses disproportionately often. This indicates a comparatively high need for German language skills in the related occupations.

The researchers emphasize the importance of linking language acquisition, education and professional practice at an early stage in the form of in-service language courses. In particular, refugee women, who often have family care work to perform, could benefit from time-flexible course offerings that can be completed during working hours, but also from better childcare during language courses.

Further information

IAB: Erwerbstätige Geflüchtete mit Berufsabschluss nehmen häufiger an berufsbegleitenden Sprachkursen teil

All results in the overview