Since April 2016, Metropolia has developed services for highly educated immigrants as a part of SIMHE project (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland) which is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The guidance and counselling services have already reached around 200 immigrant-background customers. The pilot on recognition of competences was carried out last spring in the field of technology with 30 participants and it will be augmented to the field of business this autumn.
The guidance and counselling services are aimed at highly educated asylum seekers and immigrants and for those who have an eligibility to apply for higher education. The recognition of competences service is aimed at immigrants who have a residence permit in Finland, a completed degree in higher education, and who have not been employed and are in need of supplementary education to promote their employment.
Recognition of competences service at SIMHE-Metropolia proceeds from Mapping of Competences to Demonstration of Competences. The Mapping of Competences begins with comparing the customer’s degree and prior work experience with the requirements in Metropolia’s equivalent studies and working life. After making the comparison, the Mapping proceeds to an In-Depth Professional Discussion, where we try to establish what kind of skills and competences can be identified, both similar and different compared to our education. After completing the Mapping of Competences, customers are offered an opportunity to proceed to a work-based project to work as a team member with Metropolia students. The extent of work-based project is 10 ECTS credits. The work-based project consists of practical challenges one might face when working in a company and it offers a possibility to demonstrate competences that have been acquired through previous education and employment. Additionally, it offers good opportunities for SIMHE customers to network with employers and Metropolia students and staff.
“With the work-based project, the employer gets a chance to get familiar with future professionals. New ideas will also be brought up when students are able to openly review company’s problem from a new perspective”, emphasises Juha Järvinen, who works as a MINNO-project service expert at Metropolia.
Juha Järvinen concludes the concept: “This is a good opportunity to test and take advantage of our work-based innovation projects in which Metropolia students from different fields of study brainstorm ideas and also seek and implement new and sometimes surprising solutions, processes, products, services and events to meet the needs of the labour market”.
Helsinki Chamber of Commerce and Metropolia arranged an event “Employer’s Information Afternoon” (Työnantajan tietoisku) on 8 September 2016. In the event, the importance of cooperating with educational institutions and working life for the recognition of competences and complementary education for immigrants was revealed and discussed.
Successful developmental work in relation to recognition of competences has already been conducted on the vocational level. There are many things to adopt to the recognition of competences among the highly educated immigrants from a development project conducted by Uusimaa TE-office during 2014-2015.
Project Manager SIMHE-Metropolia
tel. +358 40 535 3388