Education at all levels is a key part of the integration process for migrants. Two areas of particular importance are language learning and adult learning.

  • Learning a language is often the first step towards becoming part of a new country, culture and community. Helping migrants speak the local language is vital for their entry into the job market.
  • Adult learning is crucial for migrants as they may require different skills from those that they used in their countries of origin for their new careers. It can also help equip people working with migrants with intercultural awareness and competences, easing the integration process for everyone involved.

In November 2015, the Commission launched a survey to having a better picture of what was happening in the field and encourage the sharing of good practices. 256 participants from around 15 countries answered the survey. The results of the survey were published in a list of existing initiatives.

The EU, through Erasmus+ and its predecessor Lifelong Learning Programme, has funded adult learning and language learning projects. See some examples of what has been done and how education can play its part in the integration of migrants:

Adult learning

The Migrant Integration Kit developed by INTEGRA contains financial terminology, a financial glossary, and sources of financial information that assist migrants by equipping them with the most useful social and financial phrases. The INTEGRA project answers one of the vital needs of emigrants who benefit from work and travel mobility in new political and economic conditions, which is the need to communicate and to solve survival issues among which the financial ones come top of the list. Find more information about the project in the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform.
At the two-year School for Medical Administration in Salzburg, a multilingual brochure was created based on the difficulties in communication with patients and tourists whose native language is not German. The brochure contains the most important phrases for patients and medical staff in four languages (German, English, Turkish and Croatian) and should make daily interactions in the area of medicine easier on both sides. The linguistic resources of students with a migration background are used and advantageously employed.
The project looks at what it means to be a multilingual city and focused on issues such as language learning for immigrants, social inclusion through linguistic support and communication with neighbouring languages. The general objective is to show that what is often described as a problem is in fact an asset to be celebrated. Among outputs of the project were a series of toolkits on everyday subjects such as multilingualism in the health and social care sector. Find more information about the project in the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform.
EPALE includes a wealth of content related to adult education for migrants, which can currently be found through the EPALE search engine, in any of the 24 languages of the website. The subject is highlighted in a special thematic page.
FORWARD was a two-year (2011-2013) transnational project funded under Grundtvig. It developed a competence portfolio for the self-recognition, development and validation of competences gained by migrant women in all learning contexts— formal, non-formal and informal. Read about the experience one participant on the EPALE website. Find more information about the project in the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform.

Vocational education and Training (VET)

EEPSOL provided information on how to engage with and support minority groups and migrant workers into employment through job shadowing, work placement, employer engagement and vocational language training and employability skills development. The project has been selected as a success story. Success stories are finalised projects that distinguished themselves in terms of policy relevance, communication potential, impact or design.

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