MATCH - Informal and non-formal competences matching devise for migrants' employability and active citizenship

 

 

(Project N°. 510739-LLP-1-2010-1-IT-GRUNDTVIG-GMP - Agreement N° 2010-4207)

Why was the project initiated / what triggered the start of the project?
The project proposal mainly arose from the partners’ shared belief that in a context of economic downturn where employment and the pressure on public sector budgets are increasing, there is a clear rationale for targeting validation of non-formal and informal learning initiatives to groups facing a disadvantaged situation on the labour market as well as barriers to accessing formal education.
Migrants are a relevant target group for validation of prior learning as they may have acquired skills and competences in their home country which are not sufficiently acknowledged in the receiving country thus hampering their integration into the labour market. In addition, migrants also face difficulties to have their formal qualifications fully recognized in the host country. Furthermore, migrants’ lack of information on job vacancies and institutions supporting them as well as language skills represents a powerful barrier to migrants’ integration, to labour-market success and accumulation of social capital across Europe.

What was the intention of the project / what did it want to achieve and for whom (target group/groups)?
The project intends to address the above-mentioned issues firstly by elaborating a shared, articulated and flexible methodology in the process of recognizing and validating prior learning to be tested with end-users in order to verify its functionalities and effectiveness and, secondly to tackle the heterogeneity issues in the descriptions of qualifications, CVs and labour market’s needs due to the use of non-shared vocabularies. For this purpose, the project intends to develop a web-based functional tool (LO-MATCH platform) connecting the migrants’ competences acquired in formal, non-formal and informal contexts to occupational profiles and to companies’ labour demands. The LO-MATCH platform is going to be based on a database of occupational profiles expressed in terms of tasks/subtasks and learning outcomes be assessed through piloting activities involving a representative sample of end-users and a selected test bench encompassing relevant profiles. Furthermore, profiles are to be annotated using semantic technologies, thus creating a knowledge-base representing building block to implement the platform’s end-user interface, targeted to migrants and companies.

What are the achievements / results so far? Please attach them to this sheet.
The project has elaborated a flexible model and operational tools for non-formal and informal learning recognition and accreditation methodology mainly by comparing the partners’ different national systems, policies and experimentations. The first release of LO-MATCH platform supporting partners in the occupational profiles collection phase has already been issued. The second release will include a preliminary end-user interface based on the resulting database and will embed a non-semantic match strategy. The third release will support partners in the annotation phase, hence enabling for the creation of the MATCH ontology. The fourth release will be specifically tailored to semantic-based job matchmaking.

What are the main learning points of the project?
In elaborating the methodology and related tools it was of primary importance to start from a common ground and approach to the process shared by almost all partners. The lack of a whole step focused on information among all stakeholders involved in recognition and validation can really determine a negative start in the process. A point of reference to immediately welcome and classify potential migrants to enter a validation process is needed and LO-MATCH software will permit partners to set a sort of local inventory including relevant qualifications and job profiles. Flexibility has to be ensured in dealing with ever changing and specialising job profiles.
A further learning point is that a priority has to be given to preparatory training and expertise of professionals to be involved in the recognition and validation process by using LO-MATCH platform with the end-users.

What experience could be transferable? How could the project experience inspire other organizations / countries?
The possibility of bridging and intertwining through a flexible software device a wide set of stakeholders, namely public and private employment centres, assessment centres and representatives from the world of industry, commerce, crafts, unions and VET providers in different countries can ensure the transferability of the experience to other geographical contexts and users. In this way all public and private actors involved in the recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning could find a meeting point in a virtual place, where requests, offers, updating, changes and improvements can be easily carried out in order to better satisfy the potential employees’ and employers’ needs.

Information about coordinator:
Name: Enrico Bressan
Organisation: Fondazione Giacomo Rumor Centro Produttività Veneto (www.cpv.org)
Project website: http://match.cpv.org/