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including hands-on report and interview with Dan Lazar, training coordinator and deputy director of the Romanian-German Foundation, Timișoara

Romania: Upskilling Adults 45+ with a Migrant Background

The vulnerable group of unemployed and de-skilled return migrants and migrants above the age of 45 receive a mix of affirmative measures to support their employment and social inclusion.

Starting position/challenge

The current scale of transnational migration is unprecedented. Wealthy countries are using migration as a strategy to fill gaps in their labour market and to replenish an aging workforce, draining resources from the East or the South. Migrant workers from Eastern Europe often work in elderly care or the construction industry.

A parallel phenomenon of return migration, especially in countries of South-Eastern Europe, triggers challenges in terms of reinsertion into the local labour market, but also in terms of reintegration into local communities and society as a whole. Adults aged 45 years or older (45+) are particularly affected by these challenges, especially if they have spent a longer period living and working abroad and now wish to re-enter the local labour market.

This group faces specific difficulties to reintegration, due to (long-term) unemployment, de-skilling, and competency gaps. Affirmative measures are needed in order to compensate for these disadvantages. The group of adults 45+ deserves more attention as its size will increase in aging European socieites.

Implementation of the UPAM45+ project

The project aims to tackle the difficulties of (re)inserting return migrants as well as EU- and non-EU-migrants into the labour market and the wider community. To achieve this end, the project developed integrated solutions necessary for adult education providers to support (re)migrants aged 45+ to acquire basic skills, such as entrepreneurship, digital and soft skills.

Moreover, solutions were created for adult education providers to advice and accompany migrants aged 45+ in getting their competencies validated. In this way, the social and professional inclusion of adults 45+ with a migrant background is supported holistically.

The general objective of the programme was to provide solutions for the social and labour market integration of migrants 45+ through basic skills learning. Three specific objectives have been achieved: First, dedicated programmes designed for training staff working with adults 45+ were developed.

Second, tailored, holistic services for adults 45+ with a migration background were provided, so that they can access the local labour market and actively participate in their community. These provisions offer a mix of validation, services and trainings for upskilling and qualifying.

Third, a learning strategy with two components has been developed: digital skills and soft skills that can be adapted to different contexts and target groups.

Further, other important materials and tools created were a handbook for basic skills awareness and understanding of migrants aged 45+ together with a training package with two modules. This strategy incorporates training elements on digital skills and soft skills. The package also includes a guide for trainers.

Special care was given to updating tools for evaluation and validation of existing competences in the building sector, and for transversal skills that are needed across industries and sectors of the labour market.

Target groups for Transfer:

adult education providers,counsellors, social workers, integration practitioners and policymakers, municipalities

UPAM 45+ in a nutshell:

PAM 45+ aims to provide solutions for the social and labour market integration of adults 45+ with a migrant background through basic skills learning

Implementing organization:

Romanian Institute for Adult Education (IREA)