Speeding up migrants integration process into labor market
There is an increasing number of migrants in Europe, which means, among other things, a growing potential for the labor force. At the same time, one big generation is approaching the age of retirement and a demographic decrease can already be foreseen. The working life needs more workers, and long vocational training programs are not always the best and the most effective solution. Recognition of migrants’ vocational skills and the development of the methods that are related to this process are a very current topic in Europe at the moment. In order to offer efficient vocational or further training for the migrants or to indicate them a place that corresponds their professional skills, there must be an investigation that shows the prior learning, competencies and skills that are relevant for their professional development.
New tools and methods for assessing migrants’ prior vocational skills need to be developed. The Fast Track project responds to this need and develops tests for three professions: assistant nurse, kitchen assistant and tiler. The selection of these professions is mainly based on interviews with working life: there is a tangible need for workers in these fields and, on the other hand, the level of the language skills is lower than is many other professions. The approach in the tests is non-linguistic and the outcomes will be web-based which helps the project to reach a large audience – and users also in the countries that do not participate in the project. Moreover, this method could be easily transferred to other contexts and to other vocational fields; the manuals, workshops and other support provided by the project will help in this process. The basis for the approach, as well as the prototypes of the tests in other vocational fields, have already been created in Finland in 2008-2010 and the feedback from the stakeholders has been positive: the approach has been stated as innovative, needed and efficient for today’s needs in working life.
The partnership of this two-year project consists of training providers from Finland (Axxell, the coordinator, and Omnia), Denmark (Vestegnens Sprog-og Kompetencecenter), Germany (Bildungsmarkt e.v.), Iceland (Mimir-simenntun) and Turkey (Trabzon teknik ve endustri meslek lisesi denizcilik anadolu meslek lisesi).