BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Vocational language promotion in accordance with section 45a

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Vocational language promotion in accordance with section 45a

On 1 July 2016, the Foundation expanded the range of vocational language promotion available for people with a migration background: Vocational German language promotion became a standard instrument of the Federation’s language promotion. It is implemented by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, and builds directly onto the integration courses: Immigrants learn colloquial German in the integration courses. Migrants and refugees who are looking for work are continually prepared for the labour market in the subsequent vocational language and further skill-building modules. National vocational German language promotion is composed of a variety of modules which can be individually combined on a building block basis, and which combine German lessons with activities carried out by the Federal Employment Agency. If you already have good to very good knowledge of German, and would like to obtain further language and technical skills in order to improve your chances on the labour market, then you need to satisfy the requirements below in order to qualify for the promotional activities.

Who can take part?

  • You need to be registered as a job-seeker and/or as a rule receive benefits in accordance with Book II of the Social Code (SGB II – Hartz IV) or Book III of the Social Code (unemployment benefit); you must be looking for a training post, already in training or in the recognition procedure for your vocational or training qualification.
  • You must have a migration background and be in need of linguistic further skill-building. This means that you must belong to one of the following groups:
  1. Immigrants, including displaced persons, who are in the recognition procedure and have good prospects to remain (the latter currently applies to the five countries of origin Syria, Iran, Iraq, Eritrea and Somalia). Refugees from safe countries of origin are ruled out.
  2. Citizens of the EU,
  3. Germans with a migration background.
  • You need to have already completed an integration course and/or already speak German at level B1, B2 or C1 under the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

The Employment Agencies and Job Centres decide who attends the modules of national vocational German language promotion. Please approach your adviser.

If you are in employment and are registered as looking for a job, you can take part in special national vocational language promotion modules if you do not yet have sufficient language knowledge to cope with your (future) everyday situation at work. You will have to pay 50% of the cost of each lesson unit. Your employer may also pay the cost contribution.

display as attention: Note

A fundamental prerequisite for attending the basic modules is that you must have at least reached level B1 under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Content and procedure

National vocational language promotion has a modular structure.

The basic modules
The basic structure of national vocational German language promotion is made up of the “basic modules”. A distinction is made between three basic modules:

  • B1 to B2
  • B2 to C1
  • C1 to C2

Each basic module is comprised of 300 lesson units. Their content is colloquial, and there are also vocational lesson units. They cater for groups of at least 15 attendees. Smaller groups can also be considered in rural regions.

Your instructor will make a regular written note of your learning progress, and will evaluate it together with you in writing at the end of the module. Each module terminates with an examination and a certificate. The certificate that you receive can be highly useful to you in your career moving forward.

display as attention: Important information

In order to achieve your goals in the modules, it is important for you to attend the lessons on a regular basis and to arrive there on time. You should also take an active part in the lessons.

Special modules
In addition to the basic modules, a variety of special modules are provided which will have the following main contents

1. The special modules will concentrate, firstly, on vocational German language promotion for individuals who are in the recognition procedure.

2. Further special modules will portray the various specialist subjects in order to impart subject-specific contents, such as in the nursing or commercial sector.

3. Additionally, special modules are to be offered for attendees from the integration course who have not reached level B1. Special modules dealing with the A1 and A2 entry levels will be available for this group in future.


If you would like to obtain additional linguistic and technical skills via the above modules, you will need to approach your placement officer in the Employment Agency or Job Centre or in the accredited municipality. Staff there know which language schools are offering the national vocational German language promotion modules from 1 July 2016 onwards, and they can put you forward for one of these further skill-building schemes.

If you are already in work, you can ask your employer, who can obtain further information from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Admittance of providers

The standard range of national vocational German language promotion will be introduced in 2016 as an addition to the existing ESF-BAMF promotional programme, and will be successively expanded in 2017.

display as attention: Important information

The basic B2 and C1 module will first be available for the launch in July 2016. All other modules will be offered successively from 2017. Please visit our website to obtain up-to-date information.

1. Admission for the implementation of basic modules

ESF-BAMF providers:
Language schools which have already qualified for the ESF-BAMF programme are admitted as course providers until 31 December 2017 with their cooperation scheme via a transitional arrangement.

The new vocational German language promotion, which will initially be running parallel to the ESF-BAMF programme until the end of 2017, will therefore be launched first of all with the known ESF-BAMF providers, who are regarded as having been directly admitted via the ordinance as long as the existing cooperation schemes agree to carry out the new task and to work together with additional providers in future.

New providers:
In order to expand the landscape of providers beyond the 124 ESF-BAMF cooperation schemes, an application procedure for admitting additional providers was carried out from 1 July 2016 to 29 July 2016.

2. Admission for the implementation of special modules

The admission procedure for the implementation of special modules in national vocational German language promotion will be held in 2017. Language schools which offer the ESF-BAMF courses and/or basic modules under the standard national vocational promotion are also called upon to apply, as are those which as yet are not basic module providers. You will find an exact date on our website when the time comes.

It is necessary for instructors to have a high level of subject qualifications in order for the language training to be successful. National vocational German language promotion instructors absolutely must therefore demonstrate that they
- are university graduates,
- have reached level C1 under the Common European Framework of Reference of Languages (CEFR), and
- have the necessary aptitude.

The instructors must also have an additional qualification in German as a Foreign Language or German as a Second Language, or an equivalent qualification. The Federal Office may make an exception to the latter precondition in certain cases.

Cooperation between the Federal Ministries

The national vocational German language promotion directly builds onto the general language promotion through the BAMF’s integration courses. Both offers are standard activities of the Federation. In the integration courses, immigrants learn colloquial German ab initio. Migrants and refugees who are seeking jobs receive continual language preparation for the labour market in the subsequent vocational language courses.

Ministerial responsibilities in the German language promotion of migrants and refugees are divided between the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS). Whilst the BMI is responsible for general language promotion up to level B1, the promotion of vocational German courses is part of the portfolio of the BMAS. Both general and vocational German language promotion are coordinated and implemented by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Date 1 February 2017

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