Luxembourg offers a comprehensive range of free professional and vocational courses, training and conferences
As the world of work continues to evolve and the importance of digital technologies grows, upskilling has never been more important. Luxembourg offers a comprehensive range of professional and vocational courses, training and conferences, some of them free of charge.
The University of Luxembourg is perhaps the first port of call for anyone looking to go back to the books. In addition to a range of free conferences listed on their website, the university offers bachelor and master courses for guest students. Interested learners can take up to three “open courses”. The programme serves as an introduction to university life and therefore does not confer qualifications. In 2018, the university introduced a free refugee higher education programme, organised with Kiron and Association Narin, leading to the bachelor in economics and finance or the bachelor in computer science. And the university offers ongoing support for refugees studying these or other programmes. Luxembourgers studying in higher education full-time may also be eligible for student finance via the Cedies agency.
Training alongside a job
If you cannot afford to take a break from work to study, there is a wide variety of part-time professional and personal training courses. The Lifelong Learning platform boasts a comprehensive directory with some 9,300 courses, of which a quarter are online. Prices vary, but applicants may be eligible for support in the form of study leave, which they must apply for through the national education ministry.
The Luxembourg House of Training specialises in courses related to Luxembourg’s key sectors, such as banking, accounting, insurance, construction, law and personal development. It has some 750 training modules, a quarter of which are offered in English. Some courses are offered free of charge, for instance the multidisciplinary course for artists and creatives, which is funded by Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, an NGO. Jobseekers benefiting from Adem (employment bureau) training subsidies may also be granted free or low-cost access to some of the listed training.
Those looking for one-off events should take a look at the events section of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, which has a packed agenda of events. Worth looking out for are the free “Go Digital” courses, which were developed by the House of Entrepreneurship. Offered in both English and French, they introduce the digital skills needed in areas such as HR, website construction and search engine optimisation. Other themes covered in conferences include arbitration, cybersecurity and entrepreneurship. In the same building, the Sacred Heart University’s Jack Welch College of Business in Luxembourg hosts free conferences and introductory seminars related to its courses.
Not-for-profit Women in Digital Empowerment also offers free one-off workshops introducing women and girls to coding, through Ruby on Rails, as well as a host of free events related to digital skills. Level2 also hosts a number of coding-related workshops and meetings in its hackerspace. Participation is free for a one-off, after which it is based on a membership fee.
If you can convince your employer that the training is necessary for your role, your employer may wish to apply for financial subsidies from the state, depending on whether the course is accredited and fits its criteria.
Some communes will offer free language classes. But you don’t necessarily have to be a resident to benefit. Cross-border city network QuattroPole has developed a free, online Luxembourgish language course accessible to anyone with an internet connection. The Association de Soutien aux Travailleurs Immigrés (Asti), meanwhile, organises intensive French-language courses free of charge in Mersch and Luxembourg-Eich. It also sets up group conversation sessions for people to practice French and Luxembourgish, which are free of charge. Participants in the “contrat d’accueil et d’intégration” (welcome and integration contract) are also eligible for three discount vouchers for accredited language courses in one of the country’s three administrative languages over a two-year period.
Returning to the market
People who have been out of the labour market for one reason or another can find a number of free training courses offered by not-for-profits in Luxembourg. Zarabina offers lifelong education and vocational courses and guidance for men and women. Courses include training for people to become an office assistant, computing skills, orientation seminars for over 45s, retraining coaching and training to prepare refugees for the labour market.
Dress for Success, meanwhile, is targeted at women returning to work. In addition to offering free CV and interview coaching, the not-for-profit can provide women with appropriate attire for a job interview through its clothing bank. Asti’s Connections programme aims to help people with or applying for international protection find work in Luxembourg. Comprised of information sessions, workshops and internships, the programme considers each individual’s skills and qualifications to find a fit in the Luxembourg labour market.
Losing one’s job can mean the opportunity for a fresh start thanks to the options offered by job centre Adem. It offers free tailor-made courses for jobseekers, including in English the Start&Code course and air cargo professional training. It also offers free or reduced price access to external training. Other French-language courses include accounting, construction, lorry driving and delivery courier. Adem’s training measures also include language courses and coaching workshops. Adults can also benefit from apprenticeship training in specific areas, with programmes lasting three years.