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Hof University of Applied Sciences qualifies refugees and migrants for the water industry

A new type of further training program was launched at Hof University of Applied Sciences at the beginning of April: a total of 19 participants came together for the first time to gain further qualifications in course modules for tasks in the Bavarian water industry. The 15-week course is aimed specifically at people with a refugee or migrant background who are currently receiving citizens’ benefits. The course in cooperation with the Kompetenznetzwerk Wasser und Energie e.V. is to be repeated soon after completion.

A total of 19 participants are currently completing the training for a job in the water industry. The course is to be held again afterwards.
Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

Participants must also be technically trained or at least have previous training and provide evidence of this:

A degree as a technician or engineer with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or comparable training outside the EU with a recognized qualification was checked in advance in each case. An integration course and the ability to communicate in a short conversation in German also had to be proven.”

Prof. Günter Müller-Czygan, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Water Systems (inwa)

And further: “Knowledge of MS Office and computer skills are also welcome, as the lessons take place online.” Finally, approval had to be obtained from the relevant job center for participation.

Direct contacts in the industry

The 15-week course “Engineering-Technical Transfer Qualification for the Bavarian Water Industry (ITTQ)” provides practical preparation for a lateral entry into planning activities in the water industry. Supported by companies, planning organizations, municipalities and other water management organizations, those interested receive basic knowledge of urban water management, which is to be deepened through subsequent on-the-job training in companies. The partner organizations actively take on individual learning modules as well as the supervision of specialist internships. “This allows the participants to get to know their first companies personally and also gives them the opportunity to apply for jobs,” says Michael Schmidt, research assistant in the project. “The latest digital technologies and knowledge of the latest simulation software are taught and applied,” adds project team member Viktoriya Tarasyuk.

International orientation

The technical equipment required for the course will be provided by Hof University of Applied Sciences on request. Virtual laboratories are used to acquire the necessary technical practical knowledge online, such as LABSTER, a virtual sewage treatment plant that was developed with the participation of students on the online gaming platform Roblox. In order to adapt the learning content to the international nature of the course, participants have access to translations of the presentation slides in Ukrainian, Arabic, Turkish and English. However, German language modules, which deal with the technical terminology of water management, are also part of the training. The 15 weeks of training are 15 percent face-to-face and 85 percent online, with eight lessons a day. “We are thus offering a special and highly qualified further training course, which should also help to counter the shortage of skilled workers in the water industry,” concludes Prof. Müller-Czygan.


The course is free of charge for participants in the target group. The certificate course is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) in Bavaria. Further information is available at ITTQ@hof-university.de.

Rainer Krauß

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