New flexible training model for immigrants
A new flexible training model is proposed for immigrants. The training could be provided by adult education centres, folk high schools, learning centres and summer universities. The proposal was drawn up by a working group in the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The new training model would build on literacy training and language studies in Finnish or Swedish. These studies could then be combined with other, more practice-oriented studies.
The main target group would be individuals who need training flexibly and/or on a part-time basis and individuals who are deemed to need more practice-oriented studies. Part-time training would be suitable also for individuals who are working.
“The working group’s proposal contributes to our efforts to reinforce training for immigrants,” says Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.
“Currently we provide our immigrants too rigid and long paths to training and working life. For example, stay-at-home immigrant parents are often excluded from training. Adult education centres, folk high schools, learning centres and summer universities contribute already now significantly to the training and integration of immigrants. We will put this know-how and nationwide network to new use,” the Minister says.
The training would be free of charge for the individuals when it is included in their integration plans. Other immigrants could get study vouchers to help them join the training.
The proposal would give different kinds of liberal adult educational institutions a stronger role in the integration of immigrants. The new training would meet the needs of those who are currently attending literacy training. It would also reach out to immigrants who currently are excluded from training.
The proposal is part of the reform of literacy training for immigrants. The Ministry of Education and Culture will take up the responsibility for literacy training for immigrants as of 2018. An annual appropriation of EUR 5 million has been reserved for the implementation of the proposal.
The Government’s goal is to accelerate immigrants’ transition to training and working life. The Government decided to create a new training model for immigrants in its mid-term policy review in April 2017.
Several working groups in the Ministry of Education and Culture have so far proposed altogether 99 measures for making immigrants’ training paths faster. The boundaries between integration training and other training are being lowered to help immigrants learn language and occupational skills simultaneously. The responsible institutions of higher education are in charge of referring highly-educated immigrants to appropriate training. Basic education for adults has already undergone a reform, and teachers’ skills are being improved further.
Next the working group’s proposal for a new training model will be sent out for comments. The deadline for comments is on 15 August 2017.
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