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Immigrant-friendly vocational education
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The main objective of this project is an "Immigrant- friendly vocational education". Several factors lead to this project: First of all, the unemployment rate in our region has relatively a quite big percentage. On the other hand there are many immigrants living in the area and their children are students mostly in vocational schools. These people are economy immigrants mostly from Albania, Georgia, Bulgaria and Russia. This fact means that our institution plays an important role in the social and cultural life, by providing not only education but extracurricular activities, stimulating their creativity, facilitating the students, understanding of different cultures in a common European context. As a result to all the above we could have elimination of lack of skilled workers, which could be compensated by immigrants. At the same time, EK Kavalas has a regional orientation, which need to evolve towards a more international perspective in order to secure the state as a center of excellence.. The aim of the project is to provide for the participating teachers better ways to adapt their education work to suit the specific needs of immigrants. This includes the ability to recognize and adapt immigration-related barriers. The goal of this KA1 project is primarily to design a succeeding KA2 project, which develops best practices for a better professional integration of immigrants. Within this KA2 project also a mobility for selected students is planned to enhance their intercultural competence and to integrate them in the process of the best practice development. As partners vocational education providers were selected, which have comparable departments and education levels. By this selection, we hope to simplify the gathering of direct experience. Furthermore, regions were selected that have a strong intercultural competence and/or are relevant to our region as a migration country of origin. In particular the Vocational School Staatliche Berufsschule Weilheim i. OB (BS WM) is a federal vocational school in southern Bavaria. that in a dual education system it provides the vocational education for a number of professions. At this point of time it comprises 3 classes with immigrants and refugees form Syria, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Mali and other countries. Since 2013 the vocational school of Weilheim is involved in a pilot program for the vocational education of asylum seekers and refugees in order to prepare them for the labour market. The second partner is a colossal organization with 23000 teachers and 370000 learners. Provincial Education Directorate of Mersin is responsible for executing and monitoring all formal and non-formal education and training services and has a vision for being a pioneering organization, open to communication and sharing effectively, to work cooperatively between the institutions, to use the existing sources (human, time, physical conditions) effectively, to reduce the social and cultural differences considering the immigrant population (more than 100000 immigrants and refugees, including Syrians in the area). Under its direction are and several types of schools of vocational education (64), among them and immigrant friendly as in the area there are many refugees and immigrants mainly from middle east area. Thus we can have an access to many of these schools and not only one, in order to gain information and experience of them on the relevant topic. Thus we aspire to compare and combine information from two countries from totally different areas of Europe, with entirely different cultures and bridge any gap for an immigrant friendly vocational education. The participants of this project are teachers of EK Kavalas, especially teachers who have already gained some experience with immigrants (e.g. in classes of several seminars and conferences for the specific topic). The project is managed by an EK Kavalas teacher who has an immigrant background by herself. The planning and evaluation of the project will be based on MOUs according ECVET. At the beginning of each visit a kick off workshop is planned, followed by an instruction regarding the regional education systems with a comparison to the Greek approach according to the EQF. At the core of the project, teachers experience the cultural diversity and aspects as well as obstacles of integration from the perspective of the regions and the schools. In addition, the design of the following KA2 project will take place. The results of the project initially will be used at EK Kavalas to improve the education and teaching approach for immigrants. In addition the regional public will be informed in order to enhance an immigrant-friendly climate. The regional labor market should be involved in follow-up activities to provide opportunities for skilled-workers jobs for immigrants with an adequate approach of education. In addition, a multiplication towards other schools, which also educate immigrants in a vocational context is planned.

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