Good Practices / REC

REC

Professional skills’ development for recognition and validation of informal and non-formal competences learning of migrants and refugees & labour market inclusion

Employment 

Organization that is implementing

Folias social cooperative

Country

Italy 

Level of
Implementation

National and International

Target Group

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

SDG’s

Project Overview

REC‐ Professional skills’ development for recognition and validation of informal and non‐formal competences learning of migrants and refugees & labor market inclusion ‐ focuses on the VET and labor market inclusion of migrants and refugees by trying to find common standards (practitioners ‘skills, tools, quality assurance and qualification paths) that are coherent with EU and national/local level requirements. 
 

The project is embedded in a common European context, where – in spite of different situations – common challenges exist, and the transnational EU‐ value can support the development of innovative practice and stimulate the local/regional stakeholders in line with the following policy framework and current dynamics. 
 

VET can do a lot to make of the “migration crisis” a “migration opportunity” for the economy and the persisting mismatch of labor demand‐supply especially in some sectors and for some professional profiles and qualifications. 
 

Main Objectives:

– To enhance and create transnational standardized professional competence of participating practitioners and stakeholders of VET in line with EU standards; 

– To share and improve tools and practice that can make non-formal and informal skills of migrants and refugees visible and comparable and support their fast integration into labor market and further VET opportunities, also work-based; 

– To mainstream the tools / standards/ requirements of REC into local/regional systems and practice by reaching VET providers and stakeholders, including those responsible for qualifications and employers. 

Main Activities:

Since the CEDEFOP research, carried on in 2015, stated that: A) existing national recognition, validation and / or guidance / counselling systems have not been designed to deal with the current situation; B) developments seems generally to be slow and unevenly distributed between and within countries; C) so far there has been no systematic sharing of experiences and solutions in this area, the REC project intends to innovate by acting on the profiles of practitioners dealing with migrants / refugees, by increasing their efficacy in equipping migrants / refugees with the necessary tools for having their transversal / non formal skills recognized, validated and certified, following the existing EU standards. 

A comprehensive evaluation report assessing the validity and quality of the profile & tools developed in the framework of IO1 if the IO2 of REC project. 

It is intended to collect quantitative and qualitative feedbacks and indications from a strong activity of testing, structured as follows: A) a Joint Staff Training action dedicated to practitioners at transnational level to be realized in Spain; B) an experimentation “on field” with final beneficiaries, where practitioners will have the occasion to verify the efficacy of the new profile and tools directly with migrants / refugees in 6 different countries; C) a blended mobility set of actions (in 4 different countries), where practitioners have the occasion to job- shadow other local practitioners in order to verify theirs skills and their approach and to collect new feedbacks and suggestions. 

The material and the information collected in the framework of IO2 is used by project partners to analyse the lesson learned and to produce policy recommendations with operative guidelines, in order to enable competent authorities (national or regional level, depending on the specific country) to align their systems with a EU-validated model (the REC model) focused on a specific target and based on EU standards (ESCO- EQAVET), as well as to empower practitioners with the best competences and tools for a better recognition and validation of non-formal skills of migrants / refugees. 

All the project results, duly arranged, translated and re-elaborated, will be made accessible for free in an on-line repository specifically created by REC project and linked by each partner’s website. In order to be realistic in terms of financial resources available, the idea is not to create a specific e-learning platform, but to dedicate a specific session of partner’s websites for publishing project’s outputs and use existing platforms such as EPALE. 

The resources include the policy recommendations & the operative guidelines for the 3 targets identified, but in particular the presentation of the contents related to the paths for empowering the practitioners working in the field of migration in order for them to equip migrants / refuges with the necessary tools for the recognition and validation of non-formal skills owned. 

More Information

How was the Project born?

REC was an attempt to contribute to the improvement of VET and labor market practitioners to respond to the challenges of the VET systems and labor market through transnational work. 

The project is embedded in a common European context, where – in spite of different situations – common challenges exist, and the transnational EU- value can support the development of innovative practice and stimulate the local/regional stakeholders (where 

the transnationally- developed IO will be applied) in line with the following policy framework and current dynamics: 

– VET, social services and labor market practitioners and stakeholders (including policy makers) should be better equipped to provide support for inclusive labor markets, as COM(2016) 381 final “A NEW SKILLS AGENDA FOR EUROPE – Working together to strengthen 

human capital, employability and competitiveness” urges to do and provides EU tools to this aim; 

– The EU, and in particular the countries represented in the partnership, are dealing with a large presence of migrants and refugees. On 1 January 2016, the number of people living in the EU-28 who were citizens of non-member countries was 20.7 million, while the 

number of people living in the EU-28 who had been born outside of the EU was 35.1 million. Since 2015 to 2017 about 3,5 M of applications for international protection were made in the EU+. Italy, France, Germany and Greece are among the countries with highest number of requests. The median age of immigrants to EU-28 in 2015 was 27.5 years, therefore a cohort of young people, that could be activated for the labor market. However, these migrants/refugees encounter many obstacles to become productive part of the economy. 

– COM(2016) 377 final “ Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals” highlights that “early integration into vocational training with a strong work-based learning dimension might prove particularly effective for some third country nationals to provide them with the basis for successful integration into the labour market and progression towards a higher level of qualification” 

– Several initiatives support at local level this objective (AMIF and ESF funds, Youth and Skills guarantee schemes etc) however, a transnational initiative such as REC allowed to promote peer learning and sharing of practice/ tools in the area of VET and refugees/migrants’ integration. 

Elements that facilitated the implementation

The 2012 Council Recommendation on validation of non-formal and informal learning, called on Member States by 2018 to set up national arrangement for the validation (identification, documentation, assessment and certification) of non-formal and informal learning, which was a significant step especially for migrants and REC intended to operate within this process.

Impact on refugees or local community lives?

The project included a phase of research, tool development and subsequent testing of the products produced.

Experimentation “on field” with final beneficiaries was carried out with the materials produced under IO2. General results of the project are available, but no impact evaluation system was provided.

Is this project/program replicable and/or scalable?

The project could be replicated in settings where a single system of skills validation has not yet been created.  

Certainly, all the products produced represent a kit updated to 2021 that can be implemented in the future.  

In addition, the toolkit produced under the REC project is available in: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Greek.