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including hands-on report and interview with Elisabeth Yupanqui Werner, project manager of the ‘k.l.e.v.e.r-iq’ project

Incorporating migration-sensitive standards

Intercultural ambassadors assist and support the process of intercultural opening in employment agencies and job centres

Starting position/challenge

Employees of the public labour market service providers often have to deliver measurable results under high administrative and time pressure, and simultaneously have to consider the complex personal living conditions of the customers. In order to work in a non-discriminating and respectful manner, targeted support for the intercultural opening (ICO) is needed. However, if educational programmes for intercultural competence are only implemented selectively for the staff, there is no way to permanently integrate intercultural awareness in the employment agencies and job centres. It was therefore important to launch a process of intercultural opening in the design of job training schemes – supported by the management level and developed as an overall strategy. In order to receive support from the management of employment agencies or job centres (gE), the Federal Employment Agency’s Regional Directorate of Baden-Württemberg was gained as a strategic partner.

Implementation of the job training schemes

In the one-year advanced training with five modules over two days each, key personnel from employment agencies and job centres, especially migration officers, were trained as intercultural ambassadors (ICAB) to launch intercultural opening processes in their institution. This advanced vocational training includes elements of knowledge transfer, clarification of roles, strategy development, collegial exchange, and practice tasks with the goal of the ICO, which the participants process from module to module. Inspiration for the ICO is multifaceted and may include the organisation of a seminar for colleagues on the subject of recognition counselling, the development of migration-sensitive quality standards for counselling or intensification of cooperation with regional, external consulting services or migrant organisations. In their institution, ICABs contribute to requesting training requirements, adapting training concepts in close coordination with IQ for the respective target groups, and subsequently integrating the content long-term in the teams, and stimulating further inspiration for intercultural opening. The support of the Regional Directorate Baden-Württemberg was important for the initiation of the measure, both for the implementation of the practice tasks and for the release of ICABs.

Summary

The training to become an intercultural ambassador has so far been successfully carried out three times leading to a total of 40 trained ICABs. Once a year, there is a special two-day in-depth meeting of the trained people beyond the advanced vocational training on current topics to expand networking and strengthening of roles, in which the Regional Directorate is involved. Beyond the modules, the participants are also being supported to overcome difficulties in the implementation of their specific practice projects for the intercultural opening by the ‘k.l.e.v.e.r-iq’ training management.

Addressees for transfer:

Employment agencies and job centres (gE), in particular migration officers and officers working on asylum

Job training schemes for intercultural ambassadors:

Intercultural ambassadors (ICAB) have the task of putting the issue of intercultural opening (ICO) on the agenda in employment agencies and job centres, as well as sensitizing them, identifying problems, and finding solutions. As experts, they support their management to take ICO as a central management task seriously and to initiate important changes through a perennial process. ICABs are helping develop measures that contribute to transparent, fair, non-discriminatory, and sustainable labour market integration.

Project:

k.l.e.v.e.r-iq

Implementing organisation:

‘Bruderhaus Diakonie’ foundation

Project contact:

Elisabeth Yupanqui Werner, Fürststraße 3, 72072 Tübingen, Tel.: +49 (0)7071/146 13 37, elisabeth.yupanqui-werner(at)klever-iq-bw.de