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Factsheet for measure DE-2022-9/2305 Updated – measures in Germany

Access to integration and language courses

Zugang zu Integrations- und Sprachkursen

Country Germany , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 24 February 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Sandra Vogel (IW)
Measure added 17 May 2022 (updated 14 September 2022)

Background information

Against the background of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the EU Ministers of the Interior to activate the so-called Mass Influx Directive on 4 March 2022. Due to this decision, section 24 of the German Residence Act is applicable for Ukrainians fleeing the war. Based on this decision, Ukrainian can also be granted access to German integration and language course or under certain circumstances vocational language courses.

Content of measure

In Germany, integration and language courses are available to any refugee. Ukrainian refugees who have received a temporary residency permit based on section 24 of the German Residence Act can be allowed to take part in integration and language courses. There are different offers including courses especially targeted to the needs of women. Usually, refugees taking part in these course have to pay €2.20 per lesson. As the standard integration course includes 700 lessons, this results in overall costs of €1,540 to be borne by the participant. However, Ukrainian refugees were freed of this charge. In addition, Ukrainian refugees can also apply for welfare benefits to cover their basic living needs.

For refugees already speaking the German language well, it is also possible to join a vocational language course. The prerequisite is that refugees at least reached level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and that they have a work permit. The local employment agencies are responsible to grant participation in vocational language courses and also offer advice on available course offers.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

Use of measure

On 27 May 2022, the daily newspaper Welt reported that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has granted access to integration and language courses to over 80,000 Ukrainian refugees within the last couple of weeks. After being granted access to such courses, applicants still need to participate in a language skills test. Based on the test results, they can be placed in a suitable course. In general, it takes a couple of weeks before applicants can start their course. According to the newspaper, around 17,000 Ukrainian refugees took part in such courses already.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Other groups of workers
Migrants or refugees in employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Public employment service
Public support service providers
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

Language and integration courses for refugees are a long-standing instrument of German integration policies. We have no information if consultations took place when allowing Ukrainian refugees to take part in these courses.

Views and reactions

The Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB) welcomes the language and integration courses for Ukrainian refugees and also calls on the Federal Government to facilitate access to these courses promptly. The Confederation of German Employers' Association (BDA) similarly highlighted that is was very important to create sufficient capacities for Ukrainian refugees to be able to learn the language.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2022), Access to integration and language courses, measure DE-2022-9/2305 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/DE-2022-9_2305.html

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