FutureLearn and The Open University are collaborating with Your first EURES Job (YfEj), a European job mobility scheme aiming to help young Europeans find a job or work-based training opportunity in another Member State, Norway or Iceland. In addition, the scheme aims to help employers find qualified young workers within a larger territory.
The Open University will be launching four courses on the FutureLearn platform in support of the initiative. ‘German at Work Post-Beginners 1: Deutch am Arbeitsplatz’, the first course, available for enrolment now and starting on 12th March, will help learners of German to consolidate their communication skills in order to equip themselves for the world of work in the 21st century. The course, supported by YfEj and funded by the Employment and Social Innovation Fund, is geared towards learners who already have a basic understanding of German (operating at Common European Reference Level A1/A2) and want to use their German for work-related purposes. Three further German courses within this project, set at a slightly higher level of German, are currently in production, and are set to run later in 2018.
Marinella Colucci, Italian EURES national coordinator, at ANPAL, the Italian Agency for active labour market policies and leader of the project, commented: “The project aims to combat youth unemployment by promoting the mobility of young people in the European labour market. It offers individual services to young people and employers through the European network of advisers of employment centres.”
Marinella continued: “One of the services most requested by young people who want to apply for job offers abroad is precisely that of language training, which is essential for entering a new work environment in a new country. We decided to involve FutureLearn and The Open University due to their global reach; we hope these German courses will equip young people with the skill set they need to enter their new work setting.”
Nigel Smith, Head of Content at FutureLearn, said: “Language skills today are a real asset for those looking to enter the workplace - they open up many professional opportunities. Not only does learning a language evidence a wider appreciation of cultural differences, it’s beneficial to those working in today’s very international workplace, and it also opens up greater job prospects locally and indeed abroad. We’re proud to align with the project’s mission, to support young people who face a number of barriers to employment today, equipping them with the skills to overcome some of these obstacles.”
Christine Pleines, Head of German at The Open University and lead educator on the course said: “German is one of the most widely spoken languages in Europe with around 90 million first language speakers. German-speaking countries benefit from strong economies and low unemployment. This course will help learners develop their German language competence and cultural understanding and consolidate their communication skills for the workplace, by focussing on practical language use.
The Open University is a long-established provider of high quality distance education to a global audience, including the FutureLearn programs ‘Spanish for Beginners’ and ‘Italian for Beginners’.”
Learners will acquire the skills that enable them to make the most of life in German-speaking countries, such as meeting people and giving basic information about their work situation. They’ll progress to learn how to make phone calls and plan work activities that involve scheduling meetings, making hotel reservations and using public transport. By the end of the course, learners will be able to apply their intercultural communication skills in professional settings, contribute in a range of work-related situations, and use vocabulary, phrases and grammatical structures accurately for conversations and email writing.
As with the majority of courses, learners can complete the course for free or upgrade for £52 to receive additional benefits.