FutureLearn and The Open University to help young people find job opportunities through job mobility scheme

London, 28th February, 2018: FutureLearn and The Open University are collaborating with Your first EURES Job (YfEj), a European job mobility scheme aiming to help young Europeans find a job or work-based training opportunity in another Member State, Norway or Iceland. In addition, the scheme aims to help employers find qualified young workers within a larger territory.

The Open University will be launching four courses on the FutureLearn platform in support of the initiative. ‘German at Work Post-Beginners 1: Deutch am Arbeitsplatz’, the first course, available for enrolment now and starting on 12th March, will help learners of German to consolidate their communication skills in order to equip themselves for the world of work in the 21st century. The course, supported by YfEj and funded by the Employment and Social Innovation Fund, is geared towards learners who already have a basic understanding of German (operating at Common European Reference Level A1/A2) and want to use their German for work-related purposes. Three further German courses within this project, set at a slightly higher level of German, are currently in production, and are set to run later in 2018.

Marinella Colucci, Italian EURES national coordinator, at ANPAL, the Italian Agency for active labour market policies and leader of the project, commented: “The project aims to combat youth unemployment by promoting the mobility of young people in the European labour market. It offers individual services to young people and employers through the European network of advisers of employment centres.”

Marinella continued: “One of the services most requested by young people who want to apply for job offers abroad is precisely that of language training, which is essential for entering a new work environment in a new country. We decided to involve FutureLearn and The Open University due to their global reach; we hope these German courses will equip young people with the skill set they need to enter their new work setting.”

Nigel Smith, Head of Content at FutureLearn, said: “Language skills today are a real asset for those looking to enter the workplace – they open up many professional opportunities. Not only does learning a language evidence a wider appreciation of cultural differences, it’s beneficial to those working in today’s very international workplace, and it also opens up greater job prospects locally and indeed abroad. We’re proud to align with the project’s mission, to support young people who face a number of barriers to employment today, equipping them with the skills to overcome some of these obstacles.”

Christine Pleines, Head of German at The Open University and lead educator on the course said: “German is one of the most widely spoken languages in Europe with around 90 million first language speakers. German-speaking countries benefit from strong economies and low unemployment. This course will help learners develop their German language competence and cultural understanding and consolidate their communication skills for the workplace, by focussing on practical language use.

The Open University is a long-established provider of high quality distance education to a global audience, including the FutureLearn programs ‘Spanish for Beginners’ and ‘Italian for Beginners’.”

Learners will acquire the skills that enable them to make the most of life in German-speaking countries, such as meeting people and giving basic information about their work situation. They’ll progress to learn how to make phone calls and plan work activities that involve scheduling meetings, making hotel reservations and using public transport. By the end of the course, learners will be able to apply their intercultural communication skills in professional settings, contribute in a range of work-related situations, and use vocabulary, phrases and grammatical structures accurately for conversations and email writing.

As with the majority of courses, learners can complete the course for free or upgrade for £52 to receive additional benefits.

Notes to Editors

About Your first EURES job 5.0.

Your first EURES job 5.0. helps young people who want to work abroad and assists employers looking for professionals with different profiles in the European labour market. It is based on the services provided regularly by EURES advisers all around Europe. All young people aged 18 to 35 can participate, citizens and residents in one of the 28 EU countries, Iceland or Norway, regardless of their professional qualifications, previous work experience and the economic or social context, and companies legally established in the 28 EU Member States, Iceland or Norway. However, only SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises with a maximum of 250 employees) can also benefit from financial support. The experience can be a work contract or a traineeship. In order to participate in Your first EURES job, you are required to register on EUJOB4EU Platform on: http://www.yourfirsteuresjob.eu/login

About FutureLearn

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With over 7 million people from over 200 countries across the globe – a community that is continuously growing – it offers free and paid for online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, as well as organisations such as the European Space Agency, the British Council and Cancer Research UK. FutureLearn’s course portfolio covers a wealth of areas to promote lifelong learning for a range of applications including general interest, an introduction to university studies, continuing professional development and fully online postgraduate degrees.

About the Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 2 million students worldwide. There are over 170,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas.

Over 75% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and three out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

In the latest research assessment exercise (Research Excellence Framework, 2014), nearly three quarters (72%) of OU research was assessed as 4 or 3 star – the highest ratings available, awarded to research that is world-leading or internationally excellent. The OU is unique among UK universities having both an access mission and demonstrating research excellence.

Since 1971 the OU has had a partnership with the BBC, and has moved from late-night lectures to co-producing around 35 prime-time TV and radio series a year such as Blue Planet II and Civilisations, and Thinking Allowed on Radio 4. These programmes attracted an audience of 250 million in the UK last year, prompting more than 780,000 visits to the free learning website, OpenLearn: www.open.edu/openlearn/.

Regarded as the UK’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units, as well as games, videos and academic articles, which have reached audiences of over 36 million.

For further information please visit: www.open.ac.uk

For further press information, please contact:

Niamh O’Grady, Head of Comms, FutureLearn

Email: comms@futurelearn.com