By I love Limerick Correspondent Ethan Glavin
Friday afternoon saw a group of young German people, participating in the ‘EU fit!’ project, say their farewells to their host families and Limerick City at the Savoy Hotel.
‘EU fit!’ is a transnational project aimed at young people between the ages of 18 and 25, facing difficulty to find employment in today’s economic climate. The initiative, currently in its sixth year, promotes mobility and flexibility among young jobseekers.
The fourteen participants, amongst them seven single mums with their eight children, spend a total of three months in Ireland. The group spent the first month taking a language course to enhance their existing knowledge of the English language, and subsequently went on to taking up work placements with Limerick businesses in their respective areas of interest – including IT, administration, maintenance and retail positions.
Tanja Muhs accompanied the group as a liaison officer, and pointed out that the youngsters faced various challenges over the past months, having to cope with initial language difficulties to homesickness. “People really have changed a lot.” The liaison officer said. “They are so glad they finished the programme, and are very happy and proud that hey persevered despite being homesick.”
The participants are not the only ones, who win as part of the initiative, said Sinead Collins, of 7 Camicie in Limerick City, who’s been taking on placements from ‘EU fit!’ for three years now: “It’s an amazing opportunity for businesses and for Limerick. I’ve always been thoroughly satisfied with all of the placements I’ve taken on – and not just on the business side! I’ve gained a lot of great friendships through this programme. It amazes me how eager these German students are to learn about Irish work ethics, and I look forward to supporting them again next year.”
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