Summary of the international meeting in the Newcomers@Work project | Faculty of Management and Economics at the Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2024-03-01

Summary of the international meeting in the Newcomers@Work project

From February 19th to 21st, 2024, an international training workshop (short-term joint staff training event) was held at the Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdansk University of Technology, as part of the Newcomers@Work project: Strengthening the Employability of Young Refugee and Migrant NEETs

Migration movements have always been part of European identity, both in terms of immigration and emigration. However, especially in recent times, particularly between 2010 and 2023, we have observed increased migration pressure stemming from escalating armed conflicts (conflicts in the Middle East, Russian aggression in Ukraine) and intensifying humanitarian crises (e.g., in North Africa). Political changes (such as Brexit) and social factors (the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of remote work) have also had a significant impact on the direction and intensity of migration within the EU.

Migrants, especially those newly arriving in destination countries, encounter numerous barriers to integration. These barriers are not only linguistic or cultural but also relate to the recognition of qualifications, lack of skills required by employers (including job search skills), insufficient professional experience, lack of support networks, and discriminatory practices. Young migrants, in particular, often find themselves in extremely difficult situations, where exclusion from social life, education, and employment becomes a seemingly irreversible path.

The aim of the project is to promote social inclusion and strengthen the position of newly arrived young NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) aged 18-25 from refugee or migrant backgrounds by enhancing their ability to find and maintain employment. The project, running from November 2022 to October 2025, involves research, training, and dissemination activities. The event in Gdansk was a significant milestone for the project. The purpose of the meeting was to present the results of the Newcomers@Work project so far, including national reports—comprising research conducted among young migrants and individuals working with youth from this group—and the training program developed for these groups, incorporating tools tailored to their needs.

Over 45 people from six project countries—Poland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Luxembourg, and Romania—participated in the meeting. In addition to project partners, the training and workshops were attended by individuals working with young migrants: educators, career advisors, social workers, and volunteers from both partner countries and Poland. The substantial participation of representatives from organizations in the Tri-City area, including Caritas Archdiocese of Gdansk, Continuing Education Center in Sopot, Migrants and Refugees Center in Gdansk, European Solidarity Corps, LWF Foundation in Poland, Municipal Social Welfare Center in Gdynia, Museum of Emigration in Gdynia, and Sopot Center for Integration and Support for Foreigners, was particularly encouraging. Such diversity facilitated fruitful exchange of experiences and best practices, leading to the improvement of practical tools developed in the project, taking into account the specificities of partner countries and emigration issues.

During the meeting, participants exchanged experiences and best practices, allowing for further improvement of tools developed in the project. By participating in discussions and workshops, they were engaged in the co-creation process of the Newcomers@Work training program.

On the final day, participants had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Emigration in Gdynia, where the creator, Dr. Łukasz Podlaszewski, provided a unique tour and narrative of the permanent exhibition, while Ms. Anna Bagińska presented educational and integration activities conducted for migrants by the Museum staff.

The project is coordinated by the Faculty of Management and Economics of Gdansk University of Technology, with Dr. Hab. Łukasz Sienkiewicz, Prof. PG, from the Department of Entrepreneurship serving as the project manager. Dr. Katarzyna Stankiewicz from the same department is also involved in the project.

More information can be found on the project's website and Facebook profile.

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