STEP UP will propose a new way to build up migrant women’ motivation for participating in upskilling possibilities, using entrepreneurial mind set and sustainability skills as an innovative way for skills identification and screening. 

Developing migrants’ skills and having their qualifications recognised is a complicated and costly process. It also requires the ability to navigate the system and understand the appropriate training to follow. In addition, the fast changing labour market requirement, and ultimately the COVID-19 crisis had a substantial impact on the EU labour market, with many workers losing their jobs or being placed under short-term work schemes.  The new Europass platform, launched on July 2020 in the context of the Updated Skills Agenda, and the EU Skills profile tool for Third Country Nationals go in this direction by giving the support to migrants to ‘showcase their skills and qualifications and facilitate their recognition through better information.’ 

 

The partners decided to work together to equip their educators to take advantage of this new tool, and together create a new opportunity to address the lack of a comprehensive learning program addressing migrant woman specifically, offering them the possibility to enhance key and employability skills that are not usually taught to them, if not in different courses and never for with an overall personal-development approach.

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STEP UP project aims at offering migrant women the opportunity to increase gradually a wide range of skills (employability skills, transversal competences, communication skills, team working, confidence, ability for innovation, sustainability thinking), while raising their awareness on the importance of lifelong learning possibilities. Women participating in the STEP UP development program will receive tailored support based on their specific needs, ensuring continued support by the trained staff with the right set of competences.  

 

The effect of education in reducing the gender gap does not have the same magnitude for all: it is the largest for natives and the smallest for migrants born outside the EU. According to the OECD, in the European Union, 26% of migrant women are in low-skilled jobs (2020). Despite having a share of tertiary-educated similar to that of native-born women and migrant men, women born outside the EU are both more likely to be over-qualified for their job, and less likely to be in employment (European Commission, 2018). These jobs, moreover, are usually very precarious, insecure and informal. This condition combined with family obligations, child care, lack of professional networks, insufficient knowledge of the host country language and context – take many migrant women to be often employed in jobs at the bottom ranks, which typically involve tasks that are culturally devalued (IOM, 2020:2). 

 

This is indicating that the migrant status of women shapes the relationship between gender and education. In the case of non-EU born migrants, the findings suggest the need for additional efforts to facilitate the transferability of their qualifications. 

The project contribute directly to offer a new way to build up migrant women’ motivation for participating in upskilling possibilities, using entrepreneurial mind set and sustainability skills as an innovative way for skills identification and screening. Main objective of the project is to develop and test an all-in-one learning program to help migrant women in strengthening their employability skills, fostering their awareness on the importance of upskilling possibilities, while getting a step further toward skills and the qualification’s recognition.  

 

With the present proposal, the partners aims at 

  • Increase adult educators’ readiness to work with migrant women and in understanding their barriers and specific needs
  • Define new ways to support migrant women in showcasing their skills and aim at better qualification or job position
  • Offer a solid quality learning possibility to foster women’s competences, making them more competitive on the actual labour market
  • Offer a new way to assess skills using EU level and widely recognised frameworks to offer skills in a way that is easy to assess and observe
  • Increase partners’ ability to tackle some of the barriers that still prevent migrant women to access upskilling / educational possibilities
  • Enlarge partners lifelong learning offer by preparing the STEP UP program and skills assessment
  • Increase educators capacity to blend both formal and non-formal education elements to offer a more flexible and tailored approach to migrant women specifically,

 

The overall objective of the project, is linked also to the ET 2020 policy objective of “Promoting equity, social cohesion, and active citizenship – project participants will take part in the activities in the programme that address their personal development, focusing especially on building their self-confidence, improving attitude and behaviour, and enhancing basic skills such as communication, team working, but also ICT literacy and problem solving skills. The project is expected to have different core elements for future cooperation considered a priority of all the participating organizations and the European Union.

DISCLAIMER – Il sostegno della Commissione europea alla produzione di questa pubblicazione non costituisce un’approvazione del contenuto, che riflette esclusivamente il punto di vista degli autori, e la Commissione non può essere ritenuta responsabile per l’uso che può essere fatto delle informazioni ivi contenute.

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