The first FIER classes have already begun to take place in Germany and Sweden. Focused on the integrated learning of language, cultural awareness and workplace tasks, the fast-track integration training courses seek to increase the access to the labour market of newcomers.
At Göteborg Folk High School (Gothenburg, Sweden), the course consists of a nine-month training activity especially designed for persons who have immigrated to Sweden and have been unemployed for a long time. It combines work specific language learning with work-oriented training to find a job as a kitchen assistant or a cleaner, with two internship periods.
“The most important thing that they get from this training course is their self-improvement within a group,” says Jörgen Sjökvist, a vocational teacher from Göteborgs Folk High School, (Sweden). “They have been left out of society for so long, and now they get acknowledgement and empowerment thanks to their internship periods. Between a 75 and an 80% of our participants get a job. Some of them say it is the first time that they make money, and this gives them freedom.”
Testimonies from participants also call for a successful programme:
“When I first came to Sweden six years ago I could not even write my own name… I will now work for one year and then I will study to become a chef.”
Wilo, 28 years old, from Somalia
“Even if I had studied Swedish for immigrants before, I did not know how to read a recipe. Now I can do it, and I try new recipes and dishes when I cook for my family.”
Hibo, 28 years old, from Somalia
In the following months, FIER training courses for canteen work are also beginning to take place in Oslo Rosenhof Adult Centre (Norway) facilities.