Austrian Integration Fund Upgrades its Supply for German Courses

OrganizationsOther ♦ Published: December 28, 2022; 22:56 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Austrian Integration Fund will extend the supply for courses of German courses from A1 to C1 level for immigrants and refugees. The courses are intended to assist immigrants in their Job seeking opportunities since learning German is a cornerstone for getting into the Austrian Job Market.

The Austrian Integration Fund Will Expand its Offerings of German Courses to Provide Better Opportunities for Entering the Job Market for Foreigners. / Picture: © Rexdanato

The Austrian Integration Fund (AIF) is expanding its supply of part-time German courses. The AIF provides German courses for refugees and immigrants at levels A1 to C1 and, if required, literacy courses before that. These courses, which are stipulated in the Integration Act, can be taken up by employed and non-employed persons alike. In addition to face-to-face courses, the AIF also offers a wide range of online courses and self-learning options; in total, the offers were used around 180,000 times in 2022.

The AIF can finance around 74,000 German course places in 2023. All courses run by educational institutions throughout Austria take place between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. In this way, migrants can find a suitable course at any time, depending on their job, training, or childcare obligations. In addition to this, the supply of online courses for learning German, which can be used anywhere, will also be expanded at times that make part-time participation easy. Carla Pirker, Head of Funding and European Funds said "The proportion of German course participants who are already working increases from level to level: while it was only around 18 percent for participants in literacy courses, the proportion for participants in an A1 course increased 25 percent, at level B1 to around 35 percent. At the same time, there is currently a high demand for workers in a wide variety of areas.”

According to ORF, Given the current high demand for labor, part-time participation is particularly important, noted Carla Pirker from the AIF. According to a new Statistics Austria publication, quoted by ORF, insufficient knowledge of German – at 43.6 percent – is the most common reason why foreigners have difficulties finding a suitable job. The AIF – in cooperation with the Vienna Chamber of Commerce – offers job-specific online German courses for employees and job seekers in the catering, hotel, and tourism sectors. So far, more than 18,500 people have used it.

All AIF German learning offers are carried out by licensed trainers and implemented in cooperation with educational institutions or the Austria Institute (AI). For displaced persons from Ukraine, the AIF works together with Ukrainian universities and language learning centers and thus provides additional German learning capacities. Online courses at level A1 were offered with the Luzk language learning center, the Uschhorod language learning center, and the University of Drohobych, with the University of Uschhorod and the University of Drohobych there are continuously freely accessible, progressive online German learning units at the A1 level. So far, more than 1,000-course places have been taken up in this program, and an expansion of capacities is planned for 2023, primarily at off-peak times.

Austria Integration Fund