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The ADAPTREF project promoted during the 33rd EURASHE Conference “Stronger Together” – 22-23 May 2024, St. Polten, Austria

On 22 and 23 May 2024, in Sankt Pölten, Austria, the 33rd Annual conference by EURASHE on the theme: “Stronger together: Promoting transnational cooperation” took place. Mr. Andrean Lazarov, the CEO of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was among the key panelists together with Mrs. Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot – the General Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture as well as representatives of Šiauliai State UAS, Thomas More UAS, Burgenland UAS, under the moderation of Mr. Michal Karpišek – member of the European Alliance E³UDRES².

Mr. Andrean Lazarov with Mrs. Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot – the General Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture

During his speech, Mr. Lazarov presented the advantages of the Erasmus+ programme towards transnational cooperation and gave particular examples with different EU projects, where BIST is involved.

Mr. Andrean Lazarov with Mr. Hannes Raffaseder – President of EURASHE

 

Very successful final multiplier event of the project – 17 April 2024, Sofia, Bulgaria

On 17th April 2024, the final project multiplier event was held. 47 participants including youth trainers, disadvantaged youth, NGO’s working with disadvantaged youth as well as representatives by Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, New Bulgarian University and National Sports Academy have participated.

The CEO of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team and Project coordinator Mr. Andrean Lazarov presented the two major project results: R1: Enhanced and adapted version of the European supported employment model specifically related to the counseling and guidance of refugees and immigrants and R2: Career counseling guidelines for career counsellors and supported employment consultants to support the realisation of the process of their labour market inclusion was presented to the audience. He also presented the consolidated piloting results based on the collected feedback forms from the participants.

After that, the Portuguese partner Consultis was represented by its President – Mr. Antonio Dias. He presented the supported employment centres owned by Consultis and their achievements. He also presented the piloting results from Portugal.

At the end of the event, the participants discussed future exploitation of the project and ideas for second stage of the project with other disadvantaged communities.

Final partners meeting was held in Sofia, Bulgaria

The final transnational partners meeting was held in Sofia on 17 April 2024 as anticipation of the final multliplier project event. Mr. Antonio Dias – President of the Consultis, Portugal was welcomed by the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team. The two organisations discussed the realisation of the project activities, the pilloting achievements as well as steps towards preparation of the project final report.

Регистрация за заключително събитие за разпространение на резултатите по проекта

Уважаеми Госпожи и Господа,

Екипът на проект „Адаптиране и подобряване на Европейският модел на подкрепена заетост, за да се даде възможност за достъпен пазар на труда за бежанци и имигранти“ (ADAPTREF) по дейност „Малки партньорства” КД210, сектор: Професионално образование на програма „Еразъм+“ на Европейската Комисия има удоволствието да Ви покани да вземете участие в заключителното събитие за разпространение на резултатите на проекта.

Събитието ще се състои на 17 Април 2024 г. (сряда) между 14:00 и 16:00 часа в Зала „Галерия“, етаж 2, Национален студентски дом – гр. София, Адрес: София център, пл. „Народно събрание“ 10.

В рамките на събитието ще Ви бъдат представени подобрена и адаптирана версия на Европеи ския модел на подкрепена заетост, специално свързана с консултирането и насочването на бежанци и имигранти, както и насоки за кариерно консултиране за кариерни консултанти и специалисти по подкрепена заетост в подкрепа на реализирането на процеса на тяхното включване на пазара на труда. Ще имате възможност да получите информация и за услуги по подкрепена заетост в Португалия.

Събитието се организира от Сдружение „Български екип за приобщаваща подкрепа“ гр. София в партньорство с Център за подкрепена заетост „Консултис“ – гр. Порто, Португалия.

В края на събитието е планирана дискусия и обсъждане на възможности за по-широко използване на проектните резултати.

Моля да потвърдите своето участие до 15.04.2024г., на следния линк: https://forms.gle/kmoZM88SXzAbC4DbA

Събитието няма такса участие и всички участници ще получат присъствен сертификат.

Приложение:дневен ред финално събитие ADAPTREF

Oчакваме Ви!

От екипа на проект „ADAPTREF”

AIMA and APPDI host event on Migrant Integration in the Labour Market

On 21 March, the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA) and the Portuguese Association for Diversity and Inclusion (APPDI) held an event titled ‘Diversity in the Workplace: Inclusive Approaches to the Integration of Migrants’ in Lisbon. This event, coinciding with European Diversity Month and the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, focused on strategies for the recruitment and integration of migrants into the labour market.

The session featured the ‘Framework: Migration and Legal Status’ by AIMA and APPDI, alongside testimonials from companies such as Grupo Portugália, IKEA, OED, and El Corte Inglés, highlighting their best practices for integrating migrants. Employees from IKEA and El Corte Inglés also shared their experiences, discussing both the challenges and benefits of workplace inclusion.

The event also emphasized training and ongoing support strategies essential for the adaptation and professional development of migrants, underscoring the commitment of these organizations to fostering diverse and inclusive work environments.

Successful piloting phase in Bulgaria

The realisation of the piloting phase in Bulgaria is successful. During series of training sessions, recent and future career counsellors were trained how to use the project intellectual results R1: Enhanced and adapted version of the European supported employment model specifically related to the counseling and guidance of refugees and immigrants  and R2: Career counseling guidelines for career counsellors and supported employment consultants to support the realisation of the process of their labour market inclusion. Dedicated case based assessment was prepared at the end of the training to validated the extend to which the partipating specialists obtained necessarily knowledge, skills and competences to use the SE extended method. At the end of the process, each successful participant received a certificate for participation.

Dissemination of the project during AGRA 2024 International Congress and Exhibition – Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The project was presented and disseminated during the Annual AGRA Congress and Exhibition, which was held in the period 21-25 February 2024 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Special attention was given to the opportunities for immigrants and refugees to be employed in the agricultural and bio production sectors. During the event, the Minister of agriculture and foods, Mr. Kiril Vatev pointed out that projects such as ADAPTREF deserve more wider representation, because their objectives are very relevant to the one of the Bulgarian government.

Portugal’s humanitarian efforts for Afghan Refugees

Expresso reported that Portugal joined the international humanitarian reception directive for Afghanistan following the fall of Kabul. Since then, the country has welcomed 1,391 Afghan refugees, including 711 men and 680 women. Most of these refugees are adults (almost 67 percent) and couples with children (59.1 percent).

In 2023 alone, Portugal received 472 Afghan citizens (237 men and 235 women), and in January 2024, an additional 13 citizens (seven men and six women), according to the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA). Since 2021, approximately 1.4 million Afghans have fled the country, with 900,000 Shias escaping the Sunni Taliban to Iran.

Completion of the ADAPTREF pilot implementation in Portugal: Training for the Integration of Refugees and Migrants

Portugal has successfully completed the training sessions of the ADAPTREF pilot implementation for vocational counsellors and supported employment consultants. These sessions, held between November 2023 and January 2024, were attended by 12 professionals, including psychologists and social workers, all working in the field of social inclusion.

The training, which lasted a total of 20 hours, covered an adapted version of the European Supported Employment Model, aimed at implementing new guidelines for supporting refugees and migrants, with a special focus on those from Ukraine. The curriculum included supported employment techniques, skills assessment, job matching strategies and employer engagement.

The pilot report in Portugal provided crucial information to adapt and improve the training materials. Initial results are promising and indicate that participants have acquired essential skills to support refugees and migrants in their integration into the labour market.

SPEAK For Ukraine: Impact and Learning’ event highlights successful integration of Ukrainian refugees in Portugal

On 30 January, the Ageas Foundation hosted the event ‘SPEAK For Ukraine: Impact and Learnings’, which brought together partners and participants to discuss the impact of the initiative and share best practices in collaborating on emergency responses. During the meeting, Ukrainian refugees shared their experiences, complemented by presentations, videos and testimonies that showed how language learning and community support were fundamental to their integration in Portugal.

Launched on 12 March, just 16 days after the start of the conflict in Ukraine, SPEAK For Ukraine aims to empower refugees through language learning and promote their integration into host communities. Since then, more than 2,000 refugees in around 20 European countries have taken part in the initiative, receiving concrete and local support.

The SPEAK platform, developed in collaboration with the European Commission Representation in Portugal and with the support of the Ageas Foundation and Galp, connects volunteers and organisations with Ukrainian refugees in need of language support. This partnership illustrates the importance of working together to overcome language barriers and create informal support networks that facilitate the process of refugee integration. The platform continues to be an essential tool for organisations working on local integration, promoting learning and group facilitation.

Integration of immigrants and refugees in Portugal faces ‘sea of bureaucracy’, says Jesuit Refugee Service

On 3 December, the Observador newspaper highlighted criticism by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) of the complex bureaucracy faced by immigrants and refugees in Portugal. The JRS questions the capacity of the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA) to deal with the processes inherited from the Aliens and Borders Service (SEF).

On the occasion of the International Day of Migrants on 18 December, the JRS will present the White Paper on the Rights of Immigrants and Refugees in Portugal – 2023, which documents the obstacles to reception and integration. Speaking to the Lusa news agency, the coordinator of the JRS Legal Office highlighted the experience of the support teams on the ground, who help to overcome bureaucratic obstacles in the integration process.

Presentation of the project during annual conference of the Ministry of education and science – Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 27.11.2023

The project was disseminated during the Annual conference of the Ministry of education and science and University of Plovdiv “Paissi Hilendarski”, which was held on 27 November 2023 in  Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Academicians, representatives of the third sector as well as career counsellors, social workers, resource staff learnt more about the project and its deliverables.

Dissemination of the project during XVII International congress of the organisations working in the field of education – 08-10 November 2023, Oviedo, Spain

 

The CEO of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team, Mr. Andrean Lazarov presented the project during the XVII International congress of the organisations working in the field of education, which was held in the period 08-10 November 2023 in Oviedo, Spain.

In the dedicated panel called: “Inclusion in the 21st century: recent practices and solutions” he presented the R1: Enhanced and adapted version of the European supported employment model specifically related to the counseling and guidance of refugees and immigrants and R2: Career counseling guidelines for career counsellors and supported employment consultants to support the realisation of the process of their labour market inclusion, which were highly welcomed by the audience.

The congress was organised by the University of Oviedo and included more than 200 participants from Europe and Latin America (academicians, business representatives, teachers, lecturers, NGO representatives, policy makers). During the first congress day, the team of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team presented the key outcomes of the project, especially appreciated by the giant name in the didactics of Spain – prof. Antonio Medina Rivilla from UNED | Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia and the key organiser prof. Emilio Álvarez Arregui – President of UNESCO Spain . Possibilities for exploitation of the key project results in Spain and in Latin America were discussed.

Portugal reaffirms Commitment to Humanitarian Response amid Global Displacement Surge

As reported on 3 November by Público newspaper, Ana Catarina Mendes, the Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, underscored Portugal’s dedication to addressing the escalating global displacement crisis. Mendes highlighted that the rise in global conflicts is expected to result in a surge of displaced individuals and affirmed that Portugal will continue its tradition of welcoming them. During her visit to the new office of the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA) in Faro, Mendes emphasised the country’s humanitarian commitment. She noted that Portugal has consistently responded to requests to host migrants under the European solidarity mechanism.

Regarding the 347,000 pending legalisation cases inherited from the now-defunct SEF, Mendes clarified that these situations are irregular rather than illegal and require resolution. To address this issue, AIMA is set to launch a ‘mega-operation’ in the first quarter of 2024, leveraging a combination of technology and in-person services. This initiative will be conducted in collaboration with local councils and regional coordination and development commissions.

Additionally, Mendes announced the forthcoming launch of a portal for family reunification applications by the end of 2023. Plans for 2024 include the introduction of a new portal for the issuance and renewal of residence permits, alongside the establishment of a call centre and a Portuguese language teaching programme tailored for immigrants.

Source: https://www.publico.pt/2023/11/03/politica/noticia/portugal-sabera-acolher-deslocados-resultantes-aumento-conflitos-2069023

Inscrições para participação na fase piloto em Portugal

Senhoras e senhores,

A equipa do projeto “Adaptar e melhorar o modelo europeu de emprego apoiado para permitir um mercado de trabalho acessível para refugiados e imigrantes” (ADAPTREF) no âmbito da atividade “Pequenas parcerias” KA210, setor: Ensino profissional do programa Erasmus+ da Comissão Europeia tem o prazer de convidamos você a participar de uma fase piloto do projeto.

No período de novembro de 2023 a março de 2024, será realizada uma forma combinada de formação, com o objetivo de apresentar uma versão melhorada e adaptada do modelo europeu de emprego apoiado, especificamente relacionado com o aconselhamento e orientação de refugiados e imigrantes, bem como como orientações para aconselhamento de carreira para consultores de carreira e especialistas em emprego apoiado para apoiar a implementação do processo de sua inclusão no mercado de trabalho. Terá também a oportunidade de receber informações sobre serviços de emprego apoiados em Portugal.

O evento é organizado pela Associação “Equipa Búlgara de Apoio Inclusivo” Sofia em parceria com o Centro de Emprego Apoiado “Consultis” – Porto, Portugal.

As sessões de formação são abertas, de forma totalmente gratuita, a atuais e futuros especialistas na área da gestão de recursos humanos, serviço social, orientação profissional, apoio de recursos a pessoas desfavorecidas, incluindo refugiados e imigrantes.

Para aqueles que gostariam de se envolver, envie uma pergunta para: asdias@consultis.pt

Todos os participantes que concluírem com sucesso o treinamento receberão um certificado de participação.

Estamos esperando por você!

Регистрация за участие в пилотна фаза по проект “ADAPTREF”

Уважаеми Госпожи и Господа,

Екипът на проект „Адаптиране и подобряване на Европейският модел на подкрепена заетост, за да се даде възможност за достъпен пазар на труда за бежанци и имигранти“ (ADAPTREF) по дейност „Малки партньорства” КД210, сектор: Професионално образование на програма „Еразъм+“ на Европейската Комисия има удоволствието да Ви покани да вземете участие в пилотна фаза на проекта.

В рамките на периода ноември 2023 – март 2024 година ще се проведе комбинирана форма на обучения, целящи да Ви Ви бъдат представени подобрена и адаптирана версия на Европеи ския модел на подкрепена заетост, специално свързана с консултирането и насочването на бежанци и имигранти, както и насоки за кариерно консултиране за кариерни консултанти и специалисти по подкрепена заетост в подкрепа на реализирането на процеса на тяхното включване на пазара на труда. Ще имате възможност да получите информация и за услуги по подкрепена заетост в Португалия.

Събитието се организира от Сдружение „Български екип за приобщаваща подкрепа“ гр. София в партньорство с Център за подкрепена заетост „Консултис“ – гр. Порто, Португалия.

Обучителните сесии са отворени, напълно безплатно, за настоящи и бъдещи специалисти в областта на управлението на човешките ресурси, социални дейности, кариерно ориентиране, ресурсно подпомагане за лица в неравностойно положение, в това число бежанци и имигранти.

За тези от Вас, които биха искали да се включат, моля изпратете запитване на: projects@inclusionteam.org 

Всички участници, успешно завършили обучението, ще получат сертификат за участие.

Oчакваме Ви!

Presentation of ADAPTREF project results during National career guidance training event – 25 October 2023, Sofia, Bulgaria

Thanks to the invitation by the Bulgarian National Agency – Human Resources Development Centre, the team of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was invited to present “The role of the career guidance towards disadvantaged and marginalised people in Bulgaria”.  Mr. Andrean Lazarov, who is a national consultant in vocational education and training as part of the National VET team in Bulgaria, presented methods and resources for contemporary career guidance of young people representing disadvantged communities. The ADAPTREF results: R1: Enhanced and adapted version of the European supported employment model specifically related to the counseling and guidance of refugees and immigrants & R2: Career counseling guidelines for career counsellors and supported employment consultants to support the realisation of the process of their labour market inclusion was presented as suitable and helpful guidance materials.

More than 70 interested parties related to career guidance took part in the event, including: career consultants working in Personal Development Centers and/or in Career Centers in higher education institutions and in the structures of the Employment Agency; psychologists and pedagogical advisors in the various levels of secondary education; teachers, class leaders who carry out career guidance activities; trainers in Personnel Selection and Training Agencies, consultants in Vocational Education and Training Centers and consultants from business organizations that are relevant to the labor market. They have been invited to join the recent pilot trainings under the scope of the project.

Upcoming establishment of the Agency for Minorities, Migrations and Asylum in Portugal

An article in the “Expresso” newspaper, dated 21 October, reported on the upcoming establishment of the Agency for Minorities, Migrations and Asylum. This new agency, set to replace the Immigration and Border Service by the end of the month, has sparked concerns among immigrants in Portugal. They cite a lack of transparency and anticipate an increase in bureaucracy. Currently, the Immigration and Border Service handles residence permits, a process that can take years for immigrants to regularise their status in Portugal. Meanwhile, foreigners can work and make social security contributions, but they are prevented from leaving the country due to their irregular situation.

Presentation of the project at the INVEST WINTER SCHOOL 2023 – “AN INTRODUCTION TO NATURE-INCLUSIVE AGRICULTURE”

Thanks to the kind invitation of the UARD – Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was invited as keynote speaker at the INVEST WINTER SCHOOL 2023 – “AN INTRODUCTION TO NATURE-INCLUSIVE AGRICULTURE”, which was held in the period 08-15 October 2023 in Heerenveen and Leeuwarden in The Netherlands. The topic was “The inclusive urban agriculture as an approach towards social entrepreneurship”. Students from bachelor and master degrees from Slovakia, Bulgaria, Greece and Finland took part in the school. Major point of interest for them was the existing policies and good practices into social entrepreneurship in Bulgaria. The ADAPTREF training material was presented, where the opportunities for social entrepreneurship for refugees and immigrants are dully explained.

ADAPTREF project at the National conference “How the Erasmus+ program helped to improve the skills of teachers to create innovations in the VET system in Bulgaria” – 04 September 2023, Burgas, Bulgaria

On 04.09.2023, in the city of Burgas, a national conference was held on the topic “How the Erasmus+ program helped to improve the skills of teachers to create innovations in the VET system in Bulgaria”, organized by the Human Resource Development Centre – the Bulgarian Erasmus+ National Agency. During the event, concepts for professional knowledge management, ways to apply micro-training in professional training, as well as the impact of youth activities was demonstrated by different VET institutions and NGOs. Opportunities to upgrade teachers’ skills in inclusive education was presented by Ms. Kalina Valova from the National Association of Resource Teachers in Bulgaria.

As part of the official agenda of the event, the team of BIST presented the first outcomes from the ADAPTREF project. The main project results were demonstrated to the participants and several VET centres from Burgas area expressed their wish to join the pilot trainings. During the event, participants also exchanged ideas and shared experience on key issues in the sector.

“Diário de Notícias” newspaper reported that the High Commission for Migration has allocated €13.1 million in subsidies to 70 migrant community associations in Portugal from 2014 to 2023

On 2 September, the “Diário de Notícias” newspaper reported that the High Commission for Migration has allocated €13.1 million in subsidies to 70 migrant community associations in Portugal from 2014 to 2023. The High Commission for Migration provided official data to “Diário de Notícias”, revealing that, during the past decade, seven of the 70 associations received 84% of the total subsidy amount.

During the public presentation of the “Annual Report on Employment and Vocational Training, 2022” by the Centre for Labour Relations on 12 July, a debate titled “A look at the data on professional qualifications” took place. In this context, Conceição Matos, the Director of the Vocational Training Department of the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training, suggested establishing a one-stop shop to expedite the recognition of qualifications for immigrants entering Portugal. She emphasised, “We won’t be able to integrate immigrants if their qualifications aren’t recognised. We need to speed up the process of recognising qualifications, potentially through the creation of a one-stop shop.”.

The Portuguese partners’ meeting of ADAPTREF project

The team members of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support team participated at the partners’ meeting in Porto, Portugal hosted by our Portuguese partner Consultis – Consultoria Empresarial, Unipessoal Lda.

We were able to finalise the adapted version of the European supported employment model specifically related to the counseling and guidance of refugees and immigrants and the Career counseling guidelines for career counsellors and supported employment consultants to support the realisation of the process of their labour market inclusion.

It is expected to start with the pilot phase of the project, where we will train 20 career counsellors to support the labour market inclusion of Ukrainian immigrants in Bulgaria and Portugal.

Shortly, we will publish more information for those, who would like to take part in the piloting phase.

 

Asylum Statistics Report 2023

In June 2023, the Migration Observatory, an initiative of the High Commission for Migration, published the Asylum Statistics Report 2023. This report highlighted the upswing in migration from Ukraine, Syria, and Afghanistan. Presently, Portugal serves as a sanctuary for refugees from more than 130 distinct nationalities. A significant number of these refugees originate from less publicized conflicts. Since late 2015, these diverse communities have integrated into Portugal, enriching its cultural landscape.

Participation and dissemination at EURASHE Annual conference – 8-9 June 2023, Bucharest, Romania

The CEO of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team – Mr. Andrean Lazarov was invited by the Rector of University of agribusiness and rural development to participate together in a Breakout session about the INVEST Fellow programme during the 32nd Annual EURASHE conference. The event took place on 8-9 June 2023 and was hosted by the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest (UPB). During the event series discussions were held about the inclusive Higher education and the integration of the Ukrainian immigrants (in line with the ADAPTREF project concept) together with the new EURASHE President, Mr. Hannes Raffaseder, CEO of the St. Pölten University of Applied Science and the Rector of UPB Prof. Mihnea Costoiu.

with Mr. Hannes Raffaseder, CEO of the St. Pölten University, EURASHE President with the CEO of Bulgaian Inclusion Support Team – Mr. Andrean Lazarov

with Prof. Mihnea Costoiu, Rector of University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest with the CEO of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team – Mr. Andrean Lazarov

During Breakout session as keynote speaker

Flyer of the ADAPTREF project were also disseminated with relevant stakeholders.

At the Porto Social Forum held on 26 and 27 May, the governments of Portugal and Ukraine committed to collaborate on social protection, and the rights and interests of families, children, and the elderly. The Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security announced in a statement that this commitment was formalised in a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in social policy. The memorandum was signed on 29 May by Ana Mendes Godinho, the Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, and Oksana Zholnovych, the Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine. Both ministers had participated in the Porto Social Forum. During the event, Minister Zholnovychemphasised on the panel “The European Social Model as a geopolitical lever” that sharing experiences is crucial for a stronger Europe and Ukraine. The team of Consultis disseminated the project concept and distributed flyers to the participants.

Our key participation at the panel sessions of the International Knowledge Week on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access, 8-11.05.2023, at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Erasmus University Rotterdam (a key partner of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team) has been working on the fundamental topics of inclusion, diversity, equity and access for more than seven years. Their dedicated and institutionalized IDEA Center now consists of more than 20 specialists that develop and execute our institutional and integral approach on inclusion, diversity, equity and access. The IDEA Center has taken on a pioneering role, nationally and in Europe helping initiate IDEA-structures at universities, disseminating our knowledge and expertise.

During the week, various national and international speakers – including Prof. Lina Gálvez Muñoz (European Parliament), Alfred Herrera (University of California, Los Angeles), Prof. Eveline Crone (Erasmus University Rotterdam – EUR), Fanny Passeport (Education Development Officer at Erasmus X, EUR) & Dr. Dirk Deichmann (Associate Professor, EUR) and our CEO Mr. Andrean Lazarov – together with academicians, researchers, PhD students and disability organisation representing participants shared practical insights and knowledge on topics such as (academic) outreach, student engagement, inclusive education & Universal Design for Learning, inclusive HR, inclusive communication and monitoring & research.

During the panel workshop “Integrating Universal Design for Learning into your course” we have presented the recent development in the field of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is an approach that allows instructors to proactively design their course content and pedagogical strategies to anticipate a wide range of needs. Rather than seeing students as ‘average’, they are considered as ‘variable’. By acknowledging and welcoming diversity, instructors adopt a pluralistic approach that honors learning differences. When applying UDL, the instructor provides multiple ways of engagement, representation, and action & expression. Concrete examples from EUR applications (and reflections) in a ‘Design Thinking’ course at RSM (in fall 2022) and contributions from the Bulgarian inclusion support team recent and past development were presented. The concept and expected results of the recent ADAPTREF project were disseminated to the audience.

More information and detailed programme is available here: https://www.eur.nl/en/research/information-form-idea-international-knowledge-week/idea-international-knowledge-week-wednesday

The right to asylum is a subject that is fervently debated across Europe. The duties of assistance towards refugees are a matter of controversy in the public opinion of several countries and are discussed under challenging circumstances. The size of migration flows stokes fears of cultural conflicts with the newcomers. In the face of a continuous flow of asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean, the European Union is discussing a reform of the European Asylum System to meet potentially conflicting expectations of humanitarian aid and border control. The reform proposals include harmonising the standards of assistance and reception, a European procedure for granting international protection status, and redistributing the costs of assistance among member states.

In this context, on April 18th, an online conference titled “The integration of refugees in Portugal: an evaluation of moral duties of assistance and integration policies in the context of European policies and values” was held. This event, part of the monthly “Meetings on Migration Experiences”, was organized by CIES-iscte, CRIA-iscte, and the Emigration Observatory. The team of Consultis, Portugal presented the project concept.

Our participation at TRANSVAL-EU European conference in Paris, France

Our team was invited to participate as key speaker during the plenary sessions at the European conference “Transversal Skills for Work and Life: Strengthening Guidance and Validation” which was held between 18-19 April 2023 in Paris, France.

The main aim of the conference was to build bridges between research, policy and practice for guidance and validation of transversal competences in Europe. Both in work settings and in daily life, there is a growing need for individuals to develop high-level competences to address complex challenges. Transversal competences set the foundation for personal development, resilience, the ability to communicate and work constructively with others, problem-solving, and the ability to manage one’s learning and career. Yet transversal competences are not always valued or made visible in guidance and validation processes for disadvantaged learners.

The ongoing TRANSVAL-EU project — co-financed by Erasmus+ KA3 Policy Reform – Policy Experiments coordinated by OeAD, Austrian Agency for Education and Internationalization (Austrian National Agency of Erasmus+ programme) – one of the largest policy experimentations in Europe — aimed to bridge this gap in guidance and assessment in validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL). The TRANSVAL-EU research conference  provided opportunities for researchers to share and discuss state-of-the-art research in the field of validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL) of transversal skills, including in conference panels, workshops, and a networking reception.

Our participation at the National Career Days 2023 in Sofia, Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was among the participants at the National Career Days 2023 at the first event, which was held on 1st April 2023 at Grand Hotel “Millennium” Sofia. Students and young people including people with disabilities were able to talk with our key experts in the field of career counselling of Ukrainian immigrants. We have demonstrated the concept of our main results in front of Ukrainian jobseekers representative organisations.

 

Successful start of the project!

After successful completion of the grant agreement procedure, we have started the project activities. For that purpose a dedicated online meeting was organised. Together with our highly professional and experienced partner Consultis – Consultoria Empresarial, Unipessoal Lda. from Portugal we have started the development of the first project deliverable – Enhanced and adapted version of the European supported employment model specifically related to the counseling and guidance of refugees and immigrants.

Consultis is a supported employment and counselling provider located in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal. It was founded in 2005 to work in the field of entrepreneurship consultancy, innovation and specialized research, plus education/training activities.

Since 2015 Consultis is also dedicated to supported employment as well and it is currently member of the board of directors of APEA – Portuguese Association of Supported Employment, which represents Portugal at EUSE – European Union of Supported Employment.

Consultis team integrates a broad range of knowledge, skills and competences. The experience and expertise of this counselling provider span multiple areas: equal opportunities, gender discrimination, school and employment dropout phenomenon, labour market issues, analysis of VET systems reforms processes, studies and experimentation concerning the development of European strategies and devices in the VET systems, and employment system analysis.