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Old 09.09.2015, 11:20
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Need some advise on work

Hi guys and girls hope your all well

I have been in Switzerland now for about 4 and a half weeks living near Aarau and currently going to Lingua Nova school doing a German 12 week intensive A1.

I wanted to find out whether anyone has any experience in getting work with limited German? I know this will have been asked a million times before but back home if you have limited English you go to a construction site and they put you to work on the spot....

I just want to get something whether it be on building sites, factories any kind of manual labour I guess so that I can continue long term with German school and eventually get back into my trade as a metalworker.

Thanks for your help
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Old 09.09.2015, 12:53
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Re: Need some advise on work

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Hi guys and girls hope your all well

I have been in Switzerland now for about 4 and a half weeks living near Aarau and currently going to Lingua Nova school doing a German 12 week intensive A1.

I wanted to find out whether anyone has any experience in getting work with limited German? I know this will have been asked a million times before but back home if you have limited English you go to a construction site and they put you to work on the spot....

I just want to get something whether it be on building sites, factories any kind of manual labour I guess so that I can continue long term with German school and eventually get back into my trade as a metalworker.

Thanks for your help
Why would ANYBODY want you on a dangerous construction site if you cannot communicate ?
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Old 09.09.2015, 12:56
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Re: Need some advise on work

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Why would ANYBODY want you on a dangerous construction site if you cannot communicate ?
Because despite all claims otherwise, cost will always trump safety.
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Old 09.09.2015, 13:02
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Re: Need some advise on work

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Why would ANYBODY want you on a dangerous construction site if you cannot communicate ?
Well done keyboard warrior thats exactly the reply that makes people sick to death of using forums....

Go back, read my post and try again...they were EXAMPLES I have no intention of putting myself in a dangerous situation regardless of the face I've spent the last 10 years working on sites and can communicate enough in German to know not to lick the bulldozer.
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Old 09.09.2015, 15:45
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Re: Need some advise on work

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Well done keyboard warrior thats exactly the reply that makes people sick to death of using forums....

Go back, read my post and try again...they were EXAMPLES I have no intention of putting myself in a dangerous situation regardless of the face I've spent the last 10 years working on sites and can communicate enough in German to know not to lick the bulldozer.
In genmeral building sites are theeoretically more controlled here than in the UK to avoid salary dumping. People who work on sites tend to be qualifed, unskilled labouring jobs are usualy done by the apprentices.

The fact you speak English and some German doesn't cut the ice, you'd be better off with Portuguese, Serb, Croat, Spanish, Italian, in that order and the common language for all of it is either German of French, which i understand will be no problem for you.

The sites are like anywhere else, run as a cartel and each promoter/site forman has his regulars and they tend not to mix them up too much as the Serbs and Croats tend to use pickaxes for every conceived use, especially on themselves.

You say you worked 10 years on sites so you're about 26-30 years old, i think you'll find it very hard to break into the building market, good luck if you manage.

Factories difficult, they are laying off rather than hiring at present. Metal working feasible but again economically speaking they too are having a hard time and so are releasing rather than hiring and as you have no job you're towards the bottom of the pile.

A lot of people think that not speaking the language they are prefectly acceptable to do a menial job, labouring, factory work, restaurants etc. It is exactly these jobs where you need language in order to be able to communicate succesfully and easily.

If you are CEO of Nestle, then people tend to use the language you wish to communicate in.

Work hard on your German and you stand far more chance. Lastly, don't forget Swiss are reasonably highly qualified, albeit in narrow fields, via the 3 or 4 year apprenticeship programe so "Jack of all trades" are not very common or useful here.

Sorry to prick your bubble and good luck with your search.
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Old 09.09.2015, 16:20
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Re: Need some advise on work

Yes, you can get a job in construction without speaking properly any of the local languages.

I have been called a few times to the construction site because my construction supervisor (Bauleiter) could not communicate with the painters, who were all Portuguese. It doesn't make them bad professionals - they were so good they are hired again and again because their work is really good. However, it does create a bit of a problem when you need to communicate with other people - be it the architect or other professionals.

One thing that is interesting is that quite often the workers are organized in nationality cliques - painters are all Portuguese, carpenters are all German, electricians are all Swiss, etc etc etc.

However, you need to be able to communicate with your colleagues. In more "international" construction site companies this is done in German/French/Italian (even if all workers are from different parts of the world); in other companies you have a boss who speaks the local language and the mother tongue of his workers. It is in your own interest to speak the local language because a) your contract will be in that language b) you need to be able to understand your rights and duties c) you need to be able to communicate with other workers and other companies d) you need to be able to understand what's going on when all goes tits up during the construction phase.

So, short answer - yes, it's possible. But you should try to learn the local language as quickly as possible to defend yourself and to improve your chances of being hired. As soon as my German was good enough to be included in my curriculum, I got job offers. Before, not so much... It really depends on the field.
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Old 09.09.2015, 22:24
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Re: Need some advise on work

Thanks its nice too hear advice on both accounts, it was just general enquiring this is all new to me here I am just curious how it works...I have all my certs for welding and fabrication so I think the best plan is just to put all my time into the language.

Spoke with some agencies today in Aarau and they all pretty much said my CV is fine and the moment I can hold a conversation, beyond what I had for dinner, then they can put me to work.
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