Quality mark for integration courses
19 June 2007, THE HAGUE – More than 120 schools, organisations and businesses have applied for the Integration Quality Mark over the past six months. Half of them have been granted this mark of approval so far. The reintegration and employment foundation Blik op Werk, which awards the quality mark, announced this on Tuesday.
19 June 2007
THE HAGUE – More than 120 schools, organisations and businesses have applied for the Integration Quality Mark over the past six months. Half of them have been granted this mark of approval so far. The reintegration and employment foundation Blik op Werk, which awards the quality mark, announced this on Tuesday.
The Law on integration has been in effect since 1 January. The new law not only requires immigrants to follow Dutch language and culture courses, but also requires them to pass exams in these areas.
The new integration requirements apply to both newcomers and those who have been here for some time. Getting an unsatisfactory mark on the test or failing to take it on time can lead to fines or have consequences for residence status.
It recently emerged that the quality of the integration programme is far below standard. More than half of the participants in integration courses did not reach the required language proficiency in 2005. The coalition parties Christian democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and ChristenUnie have agreed that the integration process must be improved on the national level.
The cabinet wants to work away all waiting lists for integration and language courses in the coming years and raise the level of the integration programme so that those who complete it are sufficiently prepared for the labour market.
The Integration Quality Mark is one of the means of improving the level of the integration courses. Many municipalities will only work with organisations that have been granted this mark of quality. Applicants for the mark must satisfy requirements for customer satisfaction and success rate.
Immigrants do not necessarily have to take the course from the municipality in which they live. They can also arrange it themselves, in which case they may be able to get a loan or reimbursement from the government. Financial assistance is only granted however if the immigrant follows the course at a school or institution that has been granted this quality hallmark.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news