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The TObP project focuses on non-recognition of foreign qualifications and prior learning as the central migration issue of the new century in all post-industrial societies (UN 2016). It introduces a newly started EU-Strategic Partnership for setting up new standards for skill recognition of migrants in the field of Early Life Family Care (ELFC), using open badges as flexible and visible recognition system and with the aim of creating a new job profile called Transition Mentor.
The project spans over 3 years from September 2018 to August 2021 and will take place in five different European countries: Austria, Finland, Germany, Kosovo and Switzerland. In each country, Higher Education Institutions and Research Organizations are collaborating with a local, small and/or social enterprise, either in the field of ELFC, IT-Technology or Social Welfare and Networking.
„Cognition precedes recognition“ (Erkennen geht dem Anerkennen voraus). With this statement in mind, the project seeks to tackle transition barriers and skill-mismatches faced by the migrants as early as possible in order to foster a more inclusive society and cohesive Europe.
The migrants and refugees in the ELFC sector are in a unique situation, since they are going through two transitions simultaneously: both arriving in their new target country, and entering parenthood. With growing mass migration, the amount of pregnant migrant women arriving in Europe is increasing and with it, their heightened vulnerability is becoming more apparent. In the ELFC-sector in its current state there is, on one hand, a clear skill shortage in the transcultural knowledge and on the other hand, a lot of unused potential – that of the migrants and refugees themselves.
In order to gain access to this unused potential, the project sees a paradigm shift necessary: by using Participatory Action Research (PAR), we will develop Transcultural Case Studies out of the real (working) life. This is an innovative approach, giving members of marginalized groups, in our case migrants/refugees, an active role and a voice in order to co-create the aimed new competence and job profile called Transition Mentor.
Our main outcome will be a Transcultural Open Badge Platform (ToBP), an open virtual validation and educational space to educate future Transition Mentors in the field of ELFC. Especially with our interactive Inventory of Transcultural Transition Cases we provide the opportunity for HEI and VET professionals to use and store developed teaching cases. The establishment of a European Social Network on Transition Mentoring completes the actions and guarantees sustainability. The project’s innovative approach coupled with newly developed open technology will result in long term benefits for marginalized groups in Europe and helps to strengthen social cohesion through transnational validation of migrant’s knowledge, competences and transition skills. Figuratively speaking ToBP will provide a so-called TransReCOLand, enabling barrier-free Transitions, providing RECOvery and outlining RECOgnition for targeted groups, ranging from pregnant women, mothers, fathers, babies, toddlers to aspiring Transition Mentors.