Independent Network of Labour Migration and Integration Experts

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Recognition of Qualifications and Competences of Third-Country Nationals. Challenges and Opportunities

Theme: Expert Seminar
Event: Recognition of Qualifications and Competences of Third-Country Nationals. Challenges and Opportunities
Date: 19-06-2012
Location: Thon Hotel EU, Rue de La Loi 75, 1040 Brussels
Duration: 1 day

Most EU Member States are currently going through a phase of deceleration of growth. Challenges in terms of employment, social inclusion and combating poverty are increasing and divergences between Member States are widening. In this regard, the recent European Commission Employment Package ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’ highlighted that ‘dynamic and inclusive labour markets, where people possess the right skills, are essential if the competitiveness of the European economy is to rise, rather than decline, on the back of these developments’. As underlined by the Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative, the creation of a skilled workforce relies on removing barriers to labour market integration as well as on developing systems for recognizing acquired competencies. The Initiative acknowledged the difficulties and barriers of a full utilization of the skill-set of migrants and noted that to date ‘the potential of third-country migrant inflows is not fully utilized and insufficiently targeted to meet labour market needs, despite the substantial contribution of migrants to employment and growth.’ It was emphasized that pathways to ‘allow for the validation of non-formal and informal learning’ and for ‘targeted approaches for the more vulnerable workers, including minority groups such as migrants’ are required.


In order to promote further thinking on this recommendation, the IOM Independent Network of Labour Migration and Integration Experts (LINET), with support of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission is holding a one-day expert seminar on Recognition of Qualifications and Competences of Third-Country Nationals in Brussels on 19 June 2012 gathering participants from 27 EU Member States, Australia and Canada as well as Croatia, Norway and Turkey.


Preliminary findings of the IOM LINET study which investigated the existing national practices for assessing, validating and recognizing formal, non-formal and informal learning of migrants in the LINET target countries will be presented by the IOM Expert Panel gathering researchers from the EU, Australia and Canada. The LINET findings will serve as a basis for the subsequent debate with a broad range of stakeholders from the EU institutions, national governments, social partners, business and experts that will aim at placing migration within a broader discourse of employment and education.


Two thematic sessions will explore the key facets of the debate. On one hand, new trends in the recognition of formal, but also informal and non-formal learning in the European Union will be shown. On the other hand, it will be analyzed to what extent the past experience on the recognition of qualifications has presented challenges and opportunities to the European Union Member States. With evidence indicating that over-qualification among third-country nationals remains substantial, it will be investigated whether and how the European Union can play a role in improving the accreditation of third-country qualifications.


The seminar will be concluded by a stakeholder panel discussion with participation of representatives of different services of the European Commission who will present their perspectives on the theme.



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