On October 23-26, 2018, TALENTS project partners met in Graz to build on their achievements so far in the implementation of fast-track language courses for job market integration of third country nationals and share their experiences. Main identified challenges were drop-outs, adaptation to innovative methods and the development of a long-term perspective for the students after they finish the course and join a company. The meeting was organised by STVG (Styrian Association for Education and Economics), and was divided in three parts: a peer-learning activity, a multiplier event and the project partners’ discussion.
On Tuesday, project partners visited the facilities of AK Steiermark (Styrian Chamber of Labour), during which partner representatives followed presentations about the Austrian education system, as well as networks and organisations in Styria that work in the field of adult education for migrants, such as Bildungsnetzwerk Steiermark (guidance), ZEBRA (psychological attention for refugees in their native language) or Urania (basic education).
During the second day, a multiplier event took place to introduce the project to local stakeholders in a “world café” conference organised by project partner STVG. Partner representatives presented their experiences with the TALENTS method and received inputs and feedback from local authorities and NGOs, who showed also their interest in implementing different aspects of the programme in their organisations.
Two parallel events took place on Thursday: a peer learning activity for teaching and guidance staff of project partners, and a partner meeting for technical work. The first one allowed teachers and counsellors implementing pilot TALENTS courses to share their experience with other partners, opening a space for discussion to tackle common challenges and identify success factors in Norway, Sweden and Germany.
As for the technical project meeting, it revolved around identification of key materials and guidelines for the development of an academic study by the University of Florence about learning pathways in the fast-track process. Next multiplier events were also planned in Florence, Stuttgart and Gothenburg to take place in spring 2019, as well as the final meeting to take place in Brussels. In the evening, all partner representatives gathered at NJOY local radio station’s premises to present the TALENTS project in a radio session that reaches an average audience of 2,000 people with a scope of 80,000 potential listeners.
The last day of the meeting all participants were welcomed at STVG premises in the city centre of Graz to wrap-up the week, extract conclusions about their work within TALENTS so far and polish the planning for 2019. The next project meeting, which will be the last one, featuring an EU-level multiplier event, will take place in Brussels (Belgium) in March 2019.