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European Social Fund Plus

Creating pathways to employment for immigrants through language learning

(cc) Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Europe in Bremen
(cc) Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Europe in Bremen

Moving to another country can be a daunting process at the best of times. This process is even more challenging when a person doesn’t speak the local language.

Funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the ‘Bremen Integration Qualification’ (BIQ) project supports young immigrants to learn German by offering language lessons five days a week. This intensive language course is a great help when searching for an apprenticeship and looking for a job.  

But this is not the only support that the ESF funded project gives. Shima, a project participant, reflects that ‘For me the BIQ project means so much more than just a language course.’ The BIQ course also offers lessons in mathematics and IT, which allowed Shima to improve her maths and computer skills while gaining experience for an apprenticeship.  

The project focuses on access to learning and creating pathways to work. The five-week internship for young adults aged between 18 and 26 helps participants to gain experience and an understanding of the work-life environment in Germany. This support is invaluable to young people arriving in Germany. 

Thanks to the ESF funding, it is currently provided free of charge for nearly 200 young immigrants in Bremen. Since the start of the project nearly 900 young immigrants have benefited from these opportunities. Managed by the Red Cross, BIQ is already providing support to young people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Along with the aim of improving their chances of building a professional future, the project also supports young people with interpersonal and day-to-day skills. There is even provision to help people like Shima to develop healthy hobbies, like learning to swim or attending fitness classes. 

Shima was particularly positive about BIQ’s dedicated individual support, which has helped with her social integration.

‘There is support of social workers which means a lot to me, because I can ask somebody [anytime] for help in everyday questions.’  

Project details

Project name
Bremen Integration Qualification (BIQ)
Bremer IntegrationsQualifizierung (BIQ), German Red Cross (District Association Bremen)
866 young people
Project start
Project end
Internet and social
Contact details
Nils Heckmann
Project management
Total budget
EUR 8 179 300
EU Budget contribution
EUR 7 338 973