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23 Nov. 2022
Speak & Code Academy – a tech course to change lives
End of October, the team of Le Wagon Germany launched the first batch of its new Speak & Code Academy program. This newly developed tech course varies slightly from the coding bootcamps that Le Wagon has been offering until now and aims to support refugees and expats in Germany to learn the necessary tech and German skills to join the German job market.
The first batch of 9 students from Latin America, Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine joined the course to learn to code and gain new perspectives on their life in Germany.
“I have a bachelor's in computer science and several years of working as an IT Officer.
I have work experience in one of the most demanding fields. I just needed to polish it. For that reason, I was searching for opportunities to help me get ready for the German job market and help me secure a job. A job in my field of knowledge rather than starting a job in a restaurant or a delivery service”, says Mahboob, one of our students from Afghanistan that just recently found his way to Germany together with his family and is hoping to start a new life here.
Lack of talent vs. lack of learning opportunities
Germany, like many other European countries, is currently facing a growing lack of talent in several industries, one of them being the tech industry. Current data shows that in the year 2021 96.000 open jobs in the tech field were recorded and it is estimated that this number will keep growing. At the same time, Germany is the European nation that shelters the largest number of refugees and it is a popular country for expats to settle in. But often expats and especially refugees face great challenges when it comes to settling down, finding a job, and most importantly building a new life.
Apart from the bureaucratic nightmare that Germany is so famous for, refugees and expats additionally struggle with the language but also the unacceptance of previous degrees or training which makes it hard to find jobs. Yet, having a job is a major driver when it comes to security and stability which are important factors in being able to settle down and start a new life.
Germany is still very reliant on traditional education systems like apprenticeships and university studies which are normally offered only in German. In today’s day and age and especially in tech, quick and flexible education paths are key to remaining relevant. It is crucial that we provide short-term education that is accessible to different people and helps them to learn new skills, learn German, and integrate into society.
Speak & Code your way to a new life
Unlike Le Wagon’s original coding bootcamps, the Speak & Code Academy is a 24-week full-time program designed especially for refugees and expats. The course combines the learning of fundamental web development skills as well as learning the German language and learning about the quirks of German culture.
While the coding part is taught by Le Wagon, Lingoda the leading online language school is in charge of teaching the German classes at all levels from A1 to C1 where the participants are allocated according to their preexisting language level, and Kiron, the leading NGO for education for refugees and asylum seekers.
Just like the Le Wagon coding bootcamps, the course ends with a career week where the Speak & Code participants are prepared for their upcoming job hunt and directly meet our hiring partners for potential jobs.
How to join the Speak & Code Academy
We truly believe in the purpose and goal of the Speak & Code Academy and it is our mission to help refugees and expats to be able to find a job and settle down in Germany.
The process of developing and launching the first Speak & Code batch has shown that there is demand and need for such a program. We are excited to have these nine students with us to showcase their success as well as their journey during and after the course. And with this proof of concept, we can hopefully enable more people the opportunity to learn to code and speak German.