Project Number UK/13/LLP-LdV/TOI-615
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Country UK-United Kingdom
The Info4Migrants project partnership has developed an online resource for guidance professionals and support workers to use with migrants in the UK, Finland, Sweden, Bulgaria, Spain and Austria. The resource - www.info4migrants.com - offers basic information on culture and customs, legal and practical issues, education, training, study and work. It also acts as a signposting tool directing users to specialist services.
Each national tool is available in six languages helping new arrivals to better integrate into communities, learning and work.
Summary According to the Europe 2020 Strategy, in order to improve the productivity of the EU economy and build a competitive, sustainable society, migrants must be more effectively integrated into receiving societies. The European Agenda for the Integration of Third Country Nationals (European Commission 2011) further recognises that migrants are currently an underutilised resource and a waste of human capital in all member states. EU countries need to make the process of inward migration more attractive and unproblematic for migrants, firstly by improving the information available to them in the receiving society (e.g. job opportunities, culture, rights), avoiding clashes with the native workforce and informing migrants of their obligations. The main aim of the ‘Info for Migrants’ project is to meet this European objective of effective integration by transferring the innovative Careers Europe Eisodus migrant information database to vocational education providers and guidance centres across Europe. Previously this database was available to libraries, colleges, universities and careers guidance centres in the UK, and offered practical information about British culture and work in 23 different languages.‘Info4Migrants’ has been developed by a consortium led by Careers Europe (UK) which brings together partners with the required expertise, understanding, experience and commitment to ensure the project’s success:-Inveslan a specialist research organisation in Bilbao, BEST an independent vocational training and guidance organisation in Austria, Business Foundation for Education, a guidance organisation in Bulgaria, Learnwell Oy, an adult education provider and online educational resource developer in Finland, and Folkuniversitetet a vocational education and guidance centre in Sweden. The partnership reflects a good cross section of expertise in the fields of language, guidance, vocational training and research. All partners work directly with migrants and all are well placed in their national contexts to disseminate to a full range of national partners. The tangible impact of ‘Info for migrants’ is to provide an attractive user friendly resource, bringing together all the relevant information that migrants need in each national context for use in guidance, vocational education and training, as well as other settings where professionals are supporting migrants. www.info4migrants.com aims to contribute to the overall success of mobility within the EU, as well as migration from outside the EU. It will support better integration of migrants in Europe and facilitate the understanding of migrant experience and background, responding to wider European issues such as an ageing population and the current refugee crisis.
During 2009, about 3 million people migrated into or between one of the EU Member States (Eurostat2011) The Europe 2020 strategy identifies labour migration as vital priority for increasing growth and competitiveness and has as a key objective the harmonious integration of migrants. Yet data collected by the Transatlantic Council on Migration 2011/12 suggest that European integration practice remains piecemeal. This project set out to further the EU objective by development of the Info4Migrants online tool for careers advisers and vocational educational centres. The online tool contains all the information a migrant needs about the host country: legal rights and responsibilities; job market; culture and customs etc. This partnership brings together economically more developed (UK, SE, AT, FI) and less developed countries (BG, ES), as well as those who receive more (UK, AT, SE, ES) and comparatively fewer (FI,BG) migrants within the EU. The project group also brings together representatives from countries with widely different ratings on the Mipex Policy Index study which uses 167 indicators to measure a country’s commitment to integration: - Sweden in 1st position; Finland in 4th, Spain in 11th; UK in 15th; Austria in 20th and Bulgaria in 31st. The project was therefore a great opportunity for the transference of good practice across the EU. Main indicators and/or needs of each participating country are as follows:
• The UK has fallen 12 points on MIPEX integration index. Fears of immigration from EU countries are the main impetus behind calls to withdraw from EU
• Austria: MIPEX identified many policies but little implementation. Our partner, BEST confirms that learners with migration background are taking “mainstream” programmes with no specific focus on sustainable integration
• Spain: The unemployment rates of migrants in Spain (39.1%) were almost the double of Spanish professionals (18.4%) (IOM 2011). The social inclusion of migrants is a strategic priority for the Spanish government.
• Finland: A need to integrate second generation immigrants (Minorities Ombudsman)
• Bulgaria: A need for access to better careers and migration information
• Sweden: A need to gain information about wider access EU
The I4M resource is therefore helpful and innovative in each of these national contexts.
The concrete objective of the project was an online tool for each of the countries involved that can be used by both guidance practitioners and migrants. The final product is attractive and intuitive to use, containing information for the migrant about the host country but also details about migrants’ countries of origin in order that the guidance professional will better understand the migrants' background. A database containing as wide a range of information as possible ensures that careers advisers and migrants have access to reliable, up-to-date and consistent information. The project pools the current knowledge and skills of the partners in order to address the needs identified during the research phase of the project. Specifically, the project has 1) adapted and transferred the existing EISODUS (UK) migrant information tool to the partner countries 2) updated the current UK database in content by consultation with national experts and support from the partners - three of which are ranked in the top 10 migrant integration index (MIPEX) 3) updated the technical build - the Finnish partner is a specialist in educational website building. The project products have been developed based on extensive research on the challenges facing migrants, and the needs identified by support organisations. The partners have researched practical information to fill in the information gaps in the existing EISODUS tool and in each of the partner countries. All partners have tested the resource with the target group in their countries and have used feedback to make necessary improvements. All partners have good networks both nationally and Europe wide and have continued to disseminate the project results to the target groups, migrant communities and other stakeholders. All organisations will continue to update their national version of the tool following the lifetime of the project. This tool will expand the knowledge of careers guidance workers and teachers working in VET institutions, careers centres and other organisations across the countries in the partnership and to further countries following completion of the project.
The project also aims to contribute to:
- improving the quality of vocational training given to guidance professionals and VET teachers and trainers
- expanding careers guidance to incorporate the range of needs of migrants
- increase integration and harmony between migrants and indigenous populations
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Information and Communication
Product information The Info4Migrants partners have developed an online resource to support careers advisers working with migrants - www.info4migrants.com.