Advice For Living/Working/Learning in the Oberpfalz Region

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Hello there,


I am looking for some advice/direction from fellow Toytown residents who may have trodden my path before me.


I am a British Seafarer living in Amberg but due to the collapsing North Sea industry find myself staring into the abyss of unemployment.


Before I proceed I am well aware that when talking about jobs for people possessing little to no German on these forums it is not uncommon to be jumped upon for being naive enough to move to Germany thinking I could just pick up work etc. etc. I moved here nearly two years ago to be with my girlfriend (now fiancée) and had the perfect job for doing so as I would spend extended periods at sea and then at home in Amberg. However my current circumstances (and unfortunately the current circumstances of all UK seafarers) mean I have to realistically look at trying to find alternative career choices.


To add to that I have read plenty of forum threads from people asking about getting jobs and teaching English etc. etc. so I am up to speed on everything mentioned so far.


Just to clarify my current predicament, I would classify myself as a 'skilled' worker, having trained for years to reach the position I have (had) working at sea, however these 'skills' may not be deemed as such in the Bavarian job market. I am degree educated, have numerous certification for most often ship or safety related things and have a foundation degree in nautical science to boot. In the sporadic time I have spent in Germany the last two years I have reached B1/B2 with my German (although am far more comfortable with Hochdeutsche than Bayrische...)


So I guess my questions are as follows;


1. Are there any courses, online etc, that can often lead into decent lines of work? Even to get on the bottom rung? The German education system is so rigid that the idea of 'retraining' seems alien here and kids seem on a particular path from a young age... I realise that engineering or software/computer related qualifications are the primary ways to find employment as a non-German speaker, but are there ways to get started in computers for example that don't involve committing yourself to German university for an extended number of years?


2. How have other ex-pats without work or having found themselves searching for work whilst living here managed to successfully transition to German employment?


3. Is it possible to find work with American army bases? There are three all within a short distance of my home. What are the rules for their 'civilian' jobs within their infrastructure? Has anyone had any success with this?


4. Does anyone know how to go about gaining their HGV in Germany?


5. How does it work with teaching assistants, NQTs (non-qualified teachers) or teaching in private/international schools... is that a potential path for an educated and skilled worker over here? In the UK none of these things would be particularly difficult to get into, likewise my brother works as an NQT in a private school in Italy. How is it in Germany? 


6. A quick question about language schools to tack on. A few of the schools near me have been turned over to 'integration only' courses. I understand that immigration is a hot potato right now, personally having met a lot of them on some other courses I see that it isn't easy for most of them at all... but having the opportunity to learn in a language school closed off because of government sponsored immigration courses whilst I am perfectly willing to pay for myself seems a little unfair no? Anyone found a way round this?


Apologies for the long message but I'm really looking for as much advice and guidance as I can get. I saw someone get hounded a little for suggesting they wanted to move to Nuremberg to live and work but not for minimum wage. Whilst I totally understand that, I previously had a pretty good job and have a life in Germany that I cannot just drop to go home so I am really looking for fulfilling employment with a genuine future career path. A lot to ask I know but all advice is appreciated, especially from anyone who has lived it.






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