Best Practice 24

Empowerment kit for Immigrant Women with Low Educational/Working Experience

The short term target group consists of non-European immigrant women who are outside of the labour market and are financially supported by social welfare system of the host country.  The project aims those individuals among the target groups who have been participating in different projects aimed to break their social isolation by “ice-breaking” activities but short of integrating them in the labour market. This group of women, who have been engaged in ice-breaking activities but failed to continue their path to labour market will be the short term target group of this project. 

The short term target group is registered at NGOs both created by the target group themselves and national NGOs active among the target groups.  

The long term target groups are long-term unemployed immigrant women and women from minority groups who are excluded from the labour market because of a lack of professional education. Today there are noticeable groups such as Roma women, women from Africa and various Asian countries, asylum-seekers, refugees and recent migrants who are excluded from labour market in EU-countries. Irregular participation in education and a high drop-out rate at around 12-14 years of age are widespread among these groups (Ethnic minority and Roma women in Europe/Final report/November 2008).

 

The specific objective of the project is to tailor an empowerment kit in key competences based on the needs of the target group. The preparatory kit will comprise a set of modules needed for entrance to formal pre / vocational / professional education by immigrant women with low educational / working experience. The training will be combined with continuous individual support provided by the bilingual mentors with intercultural background. Mentors’ role is to steer and coach the individual learning process and conscious choice of profession. Mentors will also assist elaboration of individual action plan based on a number of steps for entering pre/ vocational / professional education according to individual needs / possibilities of participants. The proposed educational model will follow “ice-breaking” social activities arranged by the partners in this project dealing with integration and gender equality issues.

The proposed preparatory kit will be an important step for immigrant women’s access to employment and active citizenship through conscious choice of profession, development of individual action plan and acquirement of competences necessary for successful attendance of vocational programs in the host country. 

  • The project addressed the main objective of the Grundtvig Multilateral Projects Action, namely “pooling knowledge and experience, in order to achieve concrete and innovative results/products”. 
  • The “ice-breaking” was further developed by supplementary modules in enhancement of self-esteem and information about VET /labour market. This had a significant impact on the target group by giving them key competences to support themselves into pre/vocational education and labour market.  This embraced Priority 5: Promoting adult learning for marginalised/disadvantaged citizens and migrants through “alternative learning approaches to integrate them into society and labour market”.
  • The elaborated kit provided immigrant women with necessary social, civic and cultural competences needed to adapt to the requirements of the formal education and labour market of the host country. This embraced Priority 1: key competences, namely “helping learners to develop transversal competences…in order to adapt to the requirements of the labour market”.
  • One of the main outputs of the project is organization of training courses for educational counsellors, bilingual mentors, NGOs and adult education teachers for disseminating the results of the project. This supported Priority 2: Improving the quality of adult education by “improving the quality of teachers, tutors and other stuff in adult education through training and development of suitable qualifications”.
  • Elaboration of the empowerment kit corresponds to agenda set out by Commission of the European Communities in Communication on “Adult learning: It is never too late to learn 2006: “To support migrants` employability, their acquisition of key competences by designing education and training which matches the needs of the learner”.

☒ Intercultural communication

 

The project was implemented in Sweden, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Czech Republic.

The project was supported by partners FU-Uppsala(S), Documenta (ES), Dimitra(GR), MMC (CY), Akses(CZ). FU-Uppsala(S) worked with development of new teaching methods in liberal adult education for organization of “ice-breaking” training courses for immigrants. As a coordinator of the project FU-Uppsala had a crucial role to monitor the development of EM-kit based on Liberal Adult Education methodology. Documenta (ES) specialized in “applied social research”, analysis and strategic planning, has long experience from likewise projects under EQUAL, Interreg, Culture, Leonardo Da Vinci. Apart from development and test of EM-kit, Documenta was responsible for dissemination of project results. Dimitra(GR) worked with pre-vocational/professional training for socially sensitive groups, migrants aiming to acquisition of skills for a successful integration into the labour market and will be responsible to ensure quality of overall exploitation of results.  MMC (CY) was an expert in development of ICT-tools for training and integration of disadvantaged groups and will be responsible for development of web-site of the project and web-based dissemination material. Akses(CZ) had expertise in development of new counselling methods for integration of immigrants in Czech Republic and ensured appropriate guidance of the target group. FU-Lund(S) had participated in several transnational projects focusing upon unemployed, individuals on long term sick leave and immigrants and has excellent networking skills.

Short name: FOLKUNIVERSITETET

Street: BERGSBRUNNAGATAN 1

Town: UPPSALA

Postcode: 753 23

Country: Sweden

Tel: +46 018-68 00 60

Webpage: www.folkuniversitetet.se