Critical Skills for Life and Work
Developing the Professional Intercultural Communicative Competence of Highly-Skilled Refugees
This is an Erasmus+ funded project which aims to design and implement effective training tools for enhancing key skills and competences of (a) highly-skilled refugees and (b) the language teachers who work with them, and so enhance the employability and societal integration of skilled refugees.
Highly-skilled refugees, i.e. people with qualifications as professionals (UNESCO. 2016), are a specific adult target group that is currently not well served. According to the UNHCR there are now well over a million refugee asylum seekers in the EU. Prior educational attainment varies by country of origin, but in the case of Syria, the largest single source of refugees, around 6% of these are graduates, a large majority with prior professional experience before being forced to flee. This means among this national group alone there are over 5,000 professionals who might be able to contribute key professional skills and experience to their host countries. Best current estimates are that among all national groups about 15,000 people fall into the category of highly-skilled refugee professionals.
The objectives of this project therefore are:
- To identify and articulate, in detailed ways, the profession-relevant communicative, interactional and intercultural needs of highly-skilled refugees which would enable them to find employment in the professional domain for which they are qualified.
- To identify and articulate the training and skill-development needs of educators, agency professionals, and employment consultants, working with highly-skilled refugees.
- To produce communication, interactional and professional-oriented intercultural competence-focused teaching and learning materials for refugees, educators, and employment agency staff.
The main output of the project will be a toolkit comprised of two training modules:
- ‘Professional intercultural communicative competence for work and life’ (aimed at highly-skilled refugees).
- ‘Teaching professional intercultural communicative competence’ (aimed at volunteer teachers).
The toolkit is available online for free: http://cslw.eu/toolkit/
The project strategic partnership is composed of Newcastle University (UK), Universitaet Graz (Austria), Fryske Akademy (The Netherlands) and Action Foundation (UK).