Ms. Raabe, what are the objectives of MobiPro-EU?
The MobiPro-EU program to promote the professional mobility of young Europeans interested in completing vocational training was launched in January 2013 with the objective of combatting the high level of youth unemployment in the EU. Indeed, whereas in many other EU states there are lots of young people without a job, at the same time numerous employers in Germany are finding it difficult to find qualified young staff. The program can help balance out the situation.
What are the greatest challenges facing young people from abroad who wish to complete vocational training in Germany?
One major challenge is certainly learning the German language. After all, trainees must not only speak German at their place of work, but also at vocational school. In professions with customer contact language skills are even more important. For these reasons trainees receive language training at an early stage and take a language course before leaving their home country. In addition, they can familiarize themselves with the specialist jargon of their chosen occupation during the preparatory internship.
What do German employers particularly value in foreign trainees?
Employers value foreign trainees’ motivation and willingness to learn. They have often already learnt German at home so that they are in a position to introduce themselves to potential employers in German. Many employers are moreover impressed at how quickly their new trainees get to grips with their specialist tasks.
How successful has the initiative been to date?
In the first 18 months of the program, from January 2013 until July 2014, almost 9,200 young people applied for support from MobiPro-EU. Training placements were awarded particularly in the hotel and catering industry, food production, the building trade, and the healthcare sector. To be successful it naturally helps to have certain basic requirements such as curiosity, flexibility, and a willingness to learn. A liking for or even prior knowledge of the chosen profession is also imperative.
What direction is MobiPro-EU to take in future?
The program is scheduled to run until 2018. To date the German Federal Employment Agency (BA) has observed that the program has been greeted differently in different countries. Until July 2014 almost 62 percent of all participants came from Spain. Interest has also risen in Bulgaria. The BA will continue to announce the programme EU-wide and together with our partners target interested applicants. Vocational training in Germany offers young Europeans good perspectives in terms of gaining the right qualifications for a job and a foothold in professional life – both in Germany and in their home country.
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