Spots still open for Filipino workers in language program

New Taipei City’s Mandarin program is to accept about 140 pupils and applications are open until Wednesday next week, an official said

About 15 spots are still available for Filipino migrant workers in New Taipei City’s Mandarin learning program, a city official said yesterday.

Classes are to begin in the New Taipei City Workers’ Activity Center in Wugu District (五股) on July 3 and applications are open until Wednesday next week, said Lai Yen-heng (賴彥亨), a section chief at the Labor Affairs Department’s Foreign. Workers Service Division.

The program would accept about 140 Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese and Filipino students, split into four classes of about 35 people grouped by nationality, Lai said.

While 98 Indonesians, 77 Thais and 35 Vietnamese have already registered for the program, only 20 Filipinos have so far expressed an interest, Lai added.

The program would start with three-hour basic classes on Sundays and run for seven weeks until Aug. 14. It would then progress to advanced classes and run for six Sundays, starting on Sept. 4.

The course content would start with simple conversation, and advance to topics such as workplace communication and labor rights, the department said.

The department would offer financial subsidies to students who finish the advanced class in the top 30 percent to enter the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language, Lai said.

The exam is one of the requirements for migrant workers employed in the social welfare sector looking to qualify as a “mid-level skilled worker,” which is a pathway set by the Ministry of Labor to eventually obtain long-term residency.

The city’s language program was launched in 2016 and has been held every year since then, except in 2017.

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