The urgent need for more employees in the health sector has led Horsens and Hedensted municipalities to jointly establish a project called “SOSU subjects and languages”. They have employed a group of foreign women in a special program with SOSU vocational teaching and Danish teaching in close combination with internships at the care centers in the municipalities. A total of 24 women participate here, who together form a team of 15-16 different nationalities. They range in age from 24-53 and come with very different qualifications. What brings them together to that extent, however, is their interest in the care profession, the desire and willingness to learn and to have to provide an effort for elderly or vulnerable citizens.
While the SOSU school in Horsens is responsible for the professional teaching, Sprogcenter Midt is responsible for the Danish language upskilling. The school day is organized in such a way that it corresponds to going to work. The classroom is the workplace and is furnished with a wardrobe and a staff board where photos of all the “employees” hang, so you can see who is at work and who is absent. We work in changing teams, so that the daily collaboration is always across nationalities, language level and professional skills. It requires a good deal of mutual respect, openness and patience. Finally, only Danish must be spoken, also during the breaks, and this makes both good sense and value for the participants.
“We learn a lot of Danish because we speak Danish all day. It’s not just one or two days a week, but every weekday”, says Adriana. Jackie is also excited: “We learn a lot of Danish here because we are more focused on using it in our everyday life as a SOSU helper. When I learned new words earlier, I forgot them again because I didn’t have to use that”.
Teacher Laura Lemvig Krag from Sprogcenter Midt is impressed by the participants’ efforts. She says: “The commitment and will are top notch, and the inquisitive, positive and hard-working attitude of the women makes all the difference”.
Recruitment consultant Hanne Christensen from Horsens Municipality helped select and hire the participants at the start of the project in August, and she is quite satisfied: “We expect that several of the participants will be able to apply to the SOSU school directly after completing the course or will be dressed on for a job as an unskilled worker in the sector, while others have to spend a little more time on, among other things, their spoken and written knowledge of Danish”.
In any case, the municipalities have a group of women who are passionate about working in the social and health sector in the future, and who have strengthened their skills both linguistically, professionally and not least personally to be able to do so.