German language course at gwk: great perspectives for employees and company


Skilled employees are becoming scarce on the German labour market. At the same time, highly qualified men and women with origins abroad are waiting for their chance to prove themselves. Where limited knowledge of the German language blocks the way, well-targeted integration measurements can tear down the language barrier. This is why gwk Gesellschaft Wärme Kältetechnik mbH from Meinerzhagen/Germany strengthen their team by offering a German language course on their own premises. At the moment, seven employees participate regularly. The course is a great success: All students learn quickly and soon they even will be fit for customer contact.


Diverse origins, common aim

Twice a week when the German course at gwk starts, people from several continents with totally different professional backgrounds gather to learn. The students came from Iran, Nigeria, Eritrea, Egypt or Croatia. Some of them are professionally trained up to a full university degree in engineering. Right now they have been living in Germany for about two to three years on average. At the time of their immigration, most of them had to acquire even the most basic knowledge of the German language. They are all enthusiastically dedicated to their work at gwk – in the welding shop, the final inspection or the warehouse. Two of the young men receive professional training as industrial electricians. Now they develop their language skills together as a group with a German teacher from a nearby training centre who joins them every week at the gwk premises.


A rewarding investment

The students can use their new grammar and vocabulary at their workplace right away – and the constant practice remarkably speeds up their learning process. Dr. Michael Zaun, managing director technology at gwk, has started the program. He is very content with the outcome: "With our language courses we help our colleagues with their integration here in Germany and at gwk. Besides, we offer them new professional perspectives. This way, in spite of a tight labour market we quickly add the staff to support our company where necessary."


Sustainable integration

Many companies register severe difficulties in even integrating migrants from EU countries. At gwk, the language programme supports the fast and easy integration of people with different backgrounds. This also applies to refugees from outside the EU. Dr. Zaun: "Usually, our participants are already highly qualified in their professional field when they come to Germany. Thanks to their new language skills they can use their capabilities to a maximum. This increases their motivation which has already been extraordinary to start with." The course follows an intercultural approach which positively affects the whole company. As the participants connect intensively during class, they tend to support each other later on regardless of department boundaries, much to the profit of gwk in total.

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