The refugees’ crisis, immigration and integration are – currently – the biggest challenges for Europe and in particular for the TALENTS project partners’ countries Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Norway and Sweden. The ERASMUS+ project partners are main stakeholders of integration issues in their countries on different levels and in different fields. They are responsible for the political and strategic steering of education and integration on the regional and local level, they are experts in the field of validation and guidance, they offer language classes and vocational training and do research on integration issues.
The TALENTS project focuses on the inclusion of immigrants and refugees in language training and professional training in order to support their fast access to the world of work – as jobs are the most important basis for integration. Like this, the TALENTS project is fully in line with the ERASMUS+ horizontal priority of inclusive education and training for groups at risk of exclusion from society. In particular, refugees and immigrants are regarded to be a high priority group, given the critical context and situation at the moment. The ERASMUS+ priorities have just recently been amended accordingly.
The Austrian, German, Italian, Norwegian and Swedish project partners are involved in integration activities in their regions and, thus, have the urgent need to find new and sustainable approaches of integration. The project title “TALENTS” reflects the main interests of the TALENTS project partners: Their objective is to develop concepts and tools which help to identify talents and strengths that every person has and develop them through training that is adapted to the needs of the labour market and companies.
Overall needs – and respective goals – of the TALENTS project partners are:
1. To promote the fast integration of immigrants into the labour market with the help of
a) individualised guidance
b) tailor-made training
c) cooperation with companies.
Latest studies show that work is the best basis for integration of immigrants and their families and has long-term effects in many respects.
2. To develop concepts for continuous vocational training and upskilling “on the job”. This ensures long-term perspectives for immigrants, locals, the economy and society. And, as a consequence,
3. To take the chance of immigration and make use of the win-win-win-win situation for immigrants, companies, society and for Europe in times of demographic changes and a lack of qualified workers.
The specific project goal is:
To analyse, build up, test and further develop European role models, guidelines and tools for guidance, training and company cooperation to support the (fast) access of adult immigrants and refugees to the labour market. The means through which TALENTS intends to achieve such an ambitious goal are:
a) analysing existing regional guidance settings and training curricula (including intensive language trainings combined with professional language, professional skills and company cooperation). The heart and driving force of the project is the “Hotel Talents” project of the City of Göteborg.
b) testing these training concepts in different regions and countries and in different economic sectors, mainly sectors with a lack of qualified workers, e.g. hostelry and gastronomy, health sector etc.
c) scientifically following up these tests and do research e.g. on how such guidance and training concepts can be adapted to needs of different groups of immigrants (high-qualified, low-qualified, persons with traumas etc.), to legal backgrounds and to financing systems
d) amending the pilot concepts and defining flexible role models for different target groups, sectors, legal backgrounds and financing systems
e) developing European guidelines and tools which allow to introduce flexible guidance and training curricula in different EU countries
f) developing modules that can also be used independently (tools for validation and guidance, curricula for language training, professional skills training etc.)
g) developing teacher trainings to support the transfer of concepts