£2.2 million project will explore how access to work could support migrant integration across Europe

20 November 2017

£2.2 million project will explore how access to work could support migrant integration across Europe

Professor Simone Baglioni will lead the Sirius preoject

GCU is to lead a £2.2million Europe-wide project exploring how joining the labour market could help migrants, refugees and asylum applicants integrate in their new host countries.

GCU will coordinate the research of 11 universities and migrant-support networks in nine countries in the EU Horizon 2020 Research Programme-supported SIRIUS project. It is hoped the project will help shape international policy on supporting access to quality work opportunities and working conditions.

SIRIUS – Skills and Integration of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Applicants in European Labour markets – will explore how countries support or block integration through access to work and how joining the labour market could break down barriers, especially for women and young people.

The project will develop innovative tools such as a “serious game” to teach language skills and how to prepare for work – including job interviews, dress codes, gender and communication issues and workplace etiquette – as well as hosting a film festival and job fairs in Greece’s refugee centres.

The project is being led by GCU’s Professor Simone Baglioni. He said: “European countries need to devise a constructive, sustainable strategy to tackle migration and asylum issues. The SIRIUS project believes it is in all our interests to integrate and that the fastest way to achieve that is through work. If people are working they are not only contributing to the economy but they are free to become ordinary, if you like, so they are more willing and more able to become part of the community. We have to help people into work and also help employers and society make the most of the wealth of skills refugees can bring.

“We’d hope to build a framework for an inclusive integration agenda that European countries and the EU can use to ensure that migrant integration policies and workforce development, training and employment programmes support new arrivals’ access to decent work opportunities and working conditions. We’ll be focusing on seven countries that have a range of degrees of exposure to the recent migration and refugee crisis and different institutional and socio-economic contexts.”

GCU will lead the project with partners the University of Geneva, the University of Florence, Denmarks’ Roskilde University, Italy’s European University Institute, Charles University in Czech Republic, Solidar in Belgium, Greece’s Solidarity Now, Finland’s University of Jyväskylä, Technical University of Athens and Multikulturní centrum Praha in Czech Republic.

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