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Migraid Online - English
Sektion: Introducing the Migraid Project
Introducing MigrAID
Introducing MigrAID

Educating Social Partners Toward Ethnic Diversity in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

The increasing flow of immigrants and refugees from third-countries to the EU, as well as the continuing internal migration of European citizens from one member state to another, have led to the ethnic diversity of the European workforce. According to a Eurofound report (Eurofound, 2015:1), immigration by non-EU nationals in 2015 represented half of the employment growth in the past five years. At the same time, in 2014 some 2.7% of the EU population resided in a Member State other than their country of origin (EY, 2014).

In this context, ethnic diversity management and migrants’ integration in the labour force constitutes a major challenge for the EU. There are continuing ethnic inequalities in the workforce and a lack of equality awareness by many employers and employees. Ethnic minorities and migrant employees are more vulnerable to discrimination (Kirton and Read, 2007:134). They have less access to training and learning opportunities and they are under-represented in decision-making positions in the trade-unions (ibid: 134). At the same time, cultural differences between employees and employers and/or between employees themselves may lead to communication difficulties between them, drawn from the lack of skills and awareness in regard to multi-culturism and diversity management.

Because of all these factors, ethnic diversity is a complicated challenge. The role of the trade unions and the employers’ organisations is critical. Trade unionists need to acquire specific skills and knowledge, and have equality awareness in order to meet the needs of all their members and have a fruitful contribution towards handling ethnic diversity and promoting migrants’ integration at workplace level. Employers’ organisations should have the relevant awareness, knowledge and skills in order to promote a diversity management agenda at the level of the enterprises. Both social partners need to acquire conflict resolution skills, have knowledge of the relevant legislation, of good practices and policies. The principle objective of this project is to address those needs by developing social partners’ knowledge and skills – particularly trade unionists and employers’ organisations – to manage ethnic diversity and promote migrants’ integration in the SMEs of five European countries; Cyprus, Greece, Italy, France, and Denmark

The team decided to focus on the SMEs due to certain characteristics they acquire. Importantly, the role of SMEs in the European economy and the total employment is decisive. In 2014, EU SMEs employed almost 90 million people which represent the 67% of total employment (European Union, 2015;3). Nevertheless, the literature in the field of industrial relations has given much greater weight on equality and diversity issues within large organisations rather than the SMEs (Kirton and Read, 2007: 132). However, the SME workforce consists of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in the labour market, including an over-representation of ethnic minorities and migrant workers (ibid:132). At the same time, the legislation for equality is often notwithstandind in SMEs due to the informality and unitarism character of SME employee relations (Woodhams et al, 2004). Although this makes the role of social partners even more crucial, they often fail to successfully play that role because of the lower levels of trade union membership and organising by the employees of SMEs, compared to the larger organisations.

The project sees ethnic diversity management in SMEs as a mainly European issue which should be addressed as such. Although ethnic diversity and migration issues are a matter of national policies as well, they are progressively determined by common EU directives and regulations. Thus transnationality is a determinative factor for the project to have an impact. In this context, another objective of this project is the exchange of knowledge and good practices between the participant member states

The overall objectives of this project are to help trade unions and employers’ representatives to develop knowledge and skills to manage ethnic diversity; to empower them to promote migrants’ integration and equality awareness in European SMEs; and to help them develop intercultural competences and conflict resolution skills. Beyond the Social Partners – which consist the main target group – the project will include an adults’ training program addressing the migrant employees. This will be an induction course aiming to strengthen migrants’ competences to integrate in the labour market. This way, the project will provide training opportunities to the disadvantaged. The project will also enhance VET trainers’ skills towards ethnic diversity by creating a relevant VET material and making it accessible to all. The accessibility of the VET material will be ensured by uploading it on an Open Educational which offers an open and accessible-to-all training material.


Because of all these factors, ethnic diversity is a complicated challenge. The role of the trade unions and the employers’ organisations is critical. Trade unionists need to acquire specific skills and knowledge, and have equality awareness in order to meet the needs of all their members and have a fruitful contribution towards handling ethnic diversity and promoting migrants’ integration at workplace level. Employers’ organisations should have the relevant awareness, knowledge and skills in order to promote a diversity management agenda at the level of the enterprises. Both social partners need to acquire conflict resolution skills, have knowledge of the relevant legislation, of good practices and policies. The principle objective of this project is to address those needs by developing social partners’ knowledge and skills – particularly trade unionists and employers’ organisations – to manage ethnic diversity and promote migrants’ integration in the SMEs of five European countries; Cyprus, Greece, Italy, France, and Denmark

The team decided to focus on the SMEs due to certain characteristics they acquire. Importantly, the role of SMEs in the European economy and the total employment is decisive. In 2014, EU SMEs employed almost 90 million people which represent the 67% of total employment (European Union, 2015;3). Nevertheless, the literature in the field of industrial relations has given much greater weight on equality and diversity issues within large organisations rather than the SMEs (Kirton and Read, 2007: 132). However, the SME workforce consists of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in the labour market, including an over-representation of ethnic minorities and migrant workers (ibid:132). At the same time, the legislation for equality is often notwithstandind in SMEs due to the informality and unitarism character of SME employee relations (Woodhams et al, 2004). Although this makes the role of social partners even more crucial, they often fail to successfully play that role because of the lower levels of trade union membership and organising by the employees of SMEs, compared to the larger organisations.

The project sees ethnic diversity management in SMEs as a mainly European issue which should be addressed as such. Although ethnic diversity and migration issues are a matter of national policies as well, they are progressively determined by common EU directives and regulations. Thus transnationality is a determinative factor for the project to have an impact. In this context, another objective of this project is the exchange of knowledge and good practices between the participant member states

The overall objectives of this project are to help trade unions and employers’ representatives to develop knowledge and skills to manage ethnic diversity; to empower them to promote migrants’ integration and equality awareness in European SMEs; and to help them develop intercultural competences and conflict resolution skills. Beyond the Social Partners – which consist the main target group – the project will include an adults’ training program addressing the migrant employees. This will be an induction course aiming to strengthen migrants’ competences to integrate in the labour market. This way, the project will provide training opportunities to the disadvantaged. The project will also enhance VET trainers’ skills towards ethnic diversity by creating a relevant VET material and making it accessible to all. The accessibility of the VET material will be ensured by uploading it on an Open Educational which offers an open and accessible-to-all training material.

 

Contributing Partners
Contributing Partners

Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism (KISA), Cyprus KISA was founded in 1998 and is the leading national organisation providing essential services to migrants who are disadvantaged and are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. KISA’s activities are focused in the fields of Migration, Asylum, Racism, Discrimination and Trafficking, and they include campaigning and awareness raising as well as lobbying and advocacy in order to influence the legal and structural framework, the policies and practices in these fields and reform of the immigration and asylum framework in Cyprus.

The Labour Institute of GSEE (INE/GSEE) was founded in 1990 as the scientific and research organization of the trade unions in Greece, in order for GSEE to make substantiated interventions at social and economic level, in employment, in production and social security. Specifically, the goal of the Human Resource Development Sector of INE is to develop and communicate know-how concerning the educational system, the development of occupational profiles, the continuing vocational training system and lifelong learning, socially vulnerable groups, trade union training, and adult education and training (educational theories, educational methods/techniques, development of educational material, etc.), within the framework of Community Initiatives and Programmes (EQUAL, YOUTHSTART, NOW, ADAPT, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig, ERASMUS + etc).

The Institute of Research and Information on Volunteering Conseil (iriv conseil, www.iriv.net ) is a free private institution, nonprofit, independent of public administrations and economic interests, with the aim to improve knowledge and practice within the nonprofit sector. Focused on volunteering between 1997 and 2003, it has enriched its field of research since 2003 to migration. It has created iriv Conseil in 2000 in order to carry on the studies and trainings both an a national and a European level.

The University of Milan (UMIL), established in 1924, is a public multidisciplinary teaching and research institution. The Department of Social and Political Sciences (SPS) has been ranked first among the large departments of social sciences in the 2004-2010 research assessment. SPS conducts and coordinates research and teaching programmes in the fields of social and political theory, public policy analysis, the politics of work and welfare, the study of culture and of social relations, immigration and migration policies. http://eng.sps.unimi.it/ecm/home

Cyprus Labour Institute (INEK)-PEO is a trade union initiative of the Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO) established in 2002. Although under the umbrella of PEO, INEK is an independent and autonomous research centre operating on a professional and scientific basis; it has its own legal standing and was founded in accordance with Law 57/1972 ‘The Guilds and Institutes Law’, as a non profit-making organisation. INEK’s core business is both research and training activities mainly in the fields of labour relations and working conditions.

The Small Enterprises’ Institute of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (IME GSEVEE) operates, on behalf of GSEVEE as a consultancy body and an observatory for policies, on economic and social affairs and issues of interest for small enterprises (e.g. growth, taxation and competition, employment and social security, education, training and lifelong learning, vocational qualifications), following and assessing the results and outcomes of the initiatives and programmes carried out.
It is a non-profit organisation, established in 2006 and presently based in Athens, operating five branches in Thessaloniki, Larissa, Patra, Ioannina, and Iraklion (Crete).

ENAIP Veneto is an Italian Vocational and Education Training provider which has been running for more than 60 years and is now one of the leading organizations in the field of IVET and CVET provision both at regional and national level (4.500 students and 1.550 adults per year). In its 20 centres, covering all the provinces of the Veneto Region, it also offers many other different educational activities and services for the professional development of people. Enaip Veneto has been working in many national and European projects in the last few years, focusing on different topics, among which that of migrants. Enaip Veneto is also a member of Enaip Net, an Italian consortium delivering vocational, training and placement services covering all the regions of Northern Italy.

VIFIN (Resource Center for Integration) was established in 2002 by Vejle Municipality to collect, adapt, develop and disseminate best practices on migrant integration. A multi-sector Board, composed of representatives from the Municipality, labour union, employers’ confederation, Integration Council, and Region South Denmark oversees and sets its overall direction.

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Kursus oversigt
MigrAID: EDUCATING SOCIAL PARTNERS TOWARDS ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN SMEs
Introducing the Migraid Project not started
IO1: A RESEARCH STUDY ON MIGRANTS’ INTEGRATION AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN SMEs
A Research Study on Migrants’ Integration and Ethnic Diversity in SMEs. A Comparative Analysis not started
IO2: TRAINING ON DIVERSITY: TRAINING MANUAL
IO2: Introduction not started
MODULE 1: Introductions, objectives & ground rules not started
MODULE 2: Understanding stereotypes & prejudice not started
MODULE 3: Understanding Diversity not started
MODULE 4: Discrimination not started
MODULE 5: Diversity and Economic Activity not started
MODULE 6: Legal Framework not started
MODULE 7: Promoting Diversity & Combating Discrimination not started
MODULE 8: Labor Relations, collective bargaining & Diversity not started
MODULE 9: Coping with & Reporting Discrimination not started
MODULE 10: Recapitulation not started
MODULE 11: Evaluation & Concluding Remarks not started
IO2 Complete Diversity Tranining Manual not started
IO3: VOCATIONAL EDUCATIONAL AND TRAINING (VET) MATERIAL
Topic No 1: Issues of Diversity and Discrimination in the Workplace not started
Topic No 2: EU Policies and the European institutional framework not started
Topic No 3: National institutional framework and initiatives of national actors in relation to anti- not started
Topic No 4: The contribution of the social partners to issues of diversity and discrimination not started
Topic No 5: Skills and Capacities on diversity management and negotiation not started
Topic No 6: Examples of good practices in managing diversity from the European area not started
Complete Report: VOCATIONAL EDUCATIONAL AND TRAINING (VET) MATERIAL not started
IO4: TRAINING CURRICULUM ON DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT FOR SOCIAL PARTNERS
DAY 1: Diversity Awareness not started
DAY 2: Discrimination in the workplace and migrants’ economic integration not started
DAY 3: Managing ethnic diversity(ies) not started
DAY 4: Diversity management in SMEs not started
DAY 5: Conflict resolution in the workplace not started
IO4 Complete Training Manual not started
IO5: SME DIVERSITY GUIDE
Ethnic Diversity Guide for SME's not started
IO6: CONFLICT RESOLUTION SIMULATOR
Conflict MigrAID: Conflict Resolution Scenario not started