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Vocational Language for Care and New Opportunities for Migrants
Start date: Nov 1, 2015, End date: Oct 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The VOLCANO Project aims to develop and test a learning pathway for the target groups of indigenous BME, migrants and refugee populations who are economically inactive, and who have second or additional language to the host country for entry into the social care sector within healthcare provision. The project has five main objectives: 1) To demonstrate that people with language levels of A2 to B1 can be sustainability employed in this sector. 2) To address the known and growing skills gap across Europe which exists in lower levels of social/healthcare (due to population decline and movements, increased professionalisation and traditional low status and low pay). 3) To take advantage of greater in work learning opportunities in the sector which has opened up a new route into employment in for people from overseas which means their lack of entry qualifications can be supplemented by in work learning allowing them to progress through the industry. 4) To provide a new workforce for the sector now essential due to the demand for new staff through the Working Time Directive and Directive on Professional Qualifications. 5) To provide a diverse labour force which more closely resembles the diverse nature of the elderly community in Europe accessing social and healthcare The project aims to provide preparation for entry into the sector at care assistant level both in residential homes and in home care. The project will cascade a strategy enhancing education and employability practice that meets objectives within the 2020 strategy, which has set a target of 75% employment rate in Europe. The Bruges communique, in this context, calls for VET to better respond to labour market needs. This requires and improved understanding of emerging and evolving sectors and their skills needs as well as better mechanisims to translate this understanding into corresponding training provision. The project will contribute to this by providing education and training leading to employment in the social care/health care sector by targeting BME’s furthest from the labour market not currently fully provided for within many EU employability strategies. A group with one of the highest unemployment rates and poorest educational standards of any specific group within EU labour market statistics. It will provide portable skills for the target group to enhance mobility in the European social care//healthcare market. The project will provide language level testing, skills and competencies audits which will match to the sector, combined with a vocational language courses, practical work experience and curricula for adult educationalists to exploit. The project will be based on some existing best practice and methodologies tested extensively in the UK and will add to that new innovations including competency and language benchmarking; an extensive materials resource, innovative employer engagement and work experience opportunities. It will provide a much needed standardised system for measurement of professional competences and language skills for entry level in the health care professions. The project will utilize VLE technology to allow distance learning for the adult eduction providers. It will further address the barriers faced by the target group entering employment generally. The five partners drawn from across Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe are experienced experts in the fields of adult education and can demonstrate exceptional links to and experience of working with the target groups and the sector of employment targeted in the project. They have many years experience of working transnationally and collaboratively. The project will impact favourably on 3 groups: 1) Trainers/teachers who will benefit from new and dynamic training materials with a proven track record and the transfer of these materials into another language and eventually onto other adult education providers. 2) Beneficiaries making them more job ready and providing them with a sustainable route into employment in a growth sector. 3) Employers by linking them to a sustainable and trained workforce which reflects the increasingly diverse user of social care services in Europe. In the longer term the impact of this project will have a cascading effect within the local areas, regions, nationally and also at a European level. Further impact of the programme on each geographical area in which it is piloted will be assessed using feedback from the Stakeholders Forums in each country. Impact in respect of employment outcomes and contribution towards local regeneration will also be considered.

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