Standardised Procedures for Recruiting, Promotion and Integration of Qualified Immigrants from Third-Countries in the Baltic Sea Region
Immigration of qualified workers is increasingly demanded by German – and other - politicians and employers and it is promoted through specific tools (such as the EU Blue Card or a law for the recognition of foreign qualifications), that can contribute to reduce immigration barriers. However, the current study “Neue Potenziale” (New Potentials) by the Berlin-Institute for Population and Development shows that “up to date, only few talented people were attracted” and that qualified workers living in Germany are “often employed below their qualifications” (Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung 2014: 4, 7). On the one hand, there are deficits in Germany with regard to its appeal as a country of immigration; on the other hand there is a lack of appropriate classification and valorisation of existing qualifications and potentials.
The project addresses both topics and develops them in the context of the Baltic Sea Region. As a growing living and economic area, the Baltic Sea Region can be very attractive for qualified immigrants. It can offer diverse professional development perspectives for instance in the fields of tourism (seaside resorts), renewable (offshore) energies or transport infrastructure (Fehmarn-Belt-Tunnel) as well as a high quality of life due to environmental conditions and natural setting. Furthermore, the Baltic Sea Region has been part of an EU strategy since 2007 and receives regional support through the INTERREG programme. The previous priorities of INTERREG encompassed transnational networking of regions for economic, ecological and social developments. Thus, this project – including its scientific survey and analysis of the current situation as well as needs assessment in order to develop concrete measures for the development of the labour market in the Baltic Sea Region – can be seen as a supplement to INTERREG.
The project execution organisation is a network of three CJD institutions in Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania and Hamburg. Although the city state of Hamburg is not a direct Baltic rim, the CJD Hamburg will be part of the project partnership mainly for 2 reasons: On the one hand, Hamburg attracts many qualified immigrants from third-countries (third-country nationals – TCN) and the integration stakeholders in the city gained much more experience in dealing with this target group than in the other two participating Länder (see for instance “Hamburg strategy for securing the supply of skilled labour” of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg 2013). On the other hand, the CJD office in Hamburg includes an Education Counselling, which is a focal point for young and qualified immigrants from third-countries. When analysing the current situation in the Länder and countries and conducting the surveys, the CJD will involve universities, public offices and NGOs in Germany, Poland, Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. The implementation of the project will be developed through the following phases:
- analysis of the current situation,quantitative and qualitative surveys with the target groups (immigrants and stakeholders of the host societies),
- analysis and conceptions of the instruments, pre-tests, optimising of the instruments and
- dissemination (including a final conference) of the project outputs.
The project aims at developing standardised procedures for recruiting, promoting and integrating qualified immigrants in the Baltic Sea Region based on the target group’s needs. In order to achieve this aim, the project seeks to expand and intensify networks and cooperation between stakeholders of integration in the Baltic Sea Region with regard to recruitment, orientation, and means of qualification and employment perspectives for qualified TCN immigrants. Since the project wants to optimise structures of welcoming and integrating qualified immigrants in the Baltic Sea Region the target groups also include stakeholders in the field of integration in the three participating Länder as well as the Baltic rim. The main outputs of the project should be:
- a model for orientation counselling for qualified TCN immigrants,
- a standardised module for further education for stakeholders in the field of integration in municipalities, employment agencies, and counselling centres to raise awareness for the target group and its development potentials in the Baltic Sea Region and
- recommendations for future developments of municipalities in urban areas, middle-sized towns and in rural regions.
- University Malmö, Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare, Sweden
- Secretariat for The Council for Ethnic Minorities, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Finnish Youth Research Network, Helsinki, Finland
- Tartu University, Estonia
- Maria Curie Sklodowska University, Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, Lublin, Poland
- The Baltic Youth Office of the Regional Youth Council of Schleswig-Holstein