Migration and Skills: Successful Labour Market Integration through Recognition of Professional Qualifications

2-3/Mar/2016  •  Berlin

Project Leader
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Target group
The seminar is of particular interest for organisations involved in labour market integration of migrants (from both within and outside the EU), including ministries, agencies at national, regional and local level, chambers of commerce, employment services, labour market offices and vocational and education training institutions.

Migration flows into Europe have been dramatically increasing in 2015. A key challenge across Europe is to ensure a successful labour market integration of immigrants – for the benefit of the individuals as well as of the economy as a whole. Skilled immigrants can mitigate skill shortages which many sectors already face and thereby contribute to economic growth. A fundamental basis for such a successful integration is to establish robust professional qualifications recognition systems. This seminar is developed in cooperation with the winning project of the European Public Sector Award - EPSA 2015 (National level category), BQ-Portal (Berufsqualifikationen) – The Information Portal for Foreign Professional Qualifications, managed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

The BQ-Portal is entirely unique as it is the first online work and knowledge-sharing platform in Europe to pool all of the relevant information on foreign professional qualifications and vocational training systems in one platform. It provides employers and Chambers of Commerce with comprehensive information and practical guidelines that help them assess foreign professional qualifications. As such, the portal serves as an information platform that consolidates relevant information and know-how about foreign professional qualifications, thereby contributing to comparison of qualifications obtained abroad with the German qualifications.

The two-day seminar will take place in Berlin at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and provides an excellent opportunity to learn in detail about the BQ-Portal. The seminar is designed to give participants insights in how the BQ-Portal has been designed, how it is managed, how different stakeholders use and benefit from the portal. Furthermore, the seminar gives the participants the opportunity to jointly discuss recommendations for implementing similar recognition systems in other European countries. Presentations will be provided by experts in the education and industry sectors, by experts from chambers of commerce who are advisors involved in the recognition of foreign professional qualifications, by representatives of the companies actively recruiting foreign professionals as well as by representatives from the German employment service. Furthermore there will be a visit to an educational institution from the motor vehicle sector, which offers adjustment qualification programs for recognition seekers.

Learning methodology
The seminar applies a practice-learning perspective and will benefit from the EPSA 2015 winning project to illustrate how to organise a robust cooperation between the competent bodies, responsible for the recognition process, employers, employment services and training organisations by the use of a common platform in order to facilitate a successful labour market integration of immigrants for the benefit of economic growth.

Participants will gain first hand practice insights on:
• how to design and manage a common e-platform for recognition of professional qualifications:
• how different labour market stakeholders benefit from this e-platform to fill open vacancies;
• how vocational training programmes should be tailored to enhance the employability of immigrants by meeting specific national standards (in case of Germany).

The objective is to enhance participants’ understanding of quali-fications assessments and recognitions and to equip them with concrete methods for a successful labour market integration of migrants. This understanding shall help them to transfer the approaches to their own institutional context.