EU Skills Profile tool for 3rd Country nationals

The European Commission presented the new EU Skills Profile tool for third Country nationals on the World Refugees Day, 20 June. 

The tool is meant to support early identification of the skills of refugees, migrants and other third country nationals and has been developed by the Commission. The launch took place at the same day as the World Refugees Day.  During the event there were four interviews on the importance of skills identification for integration, in addition to a panel discussion and several speeches. Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility visited a reception centre and test the tool. Michel Servoz, Director-General of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion delivered the closing address.

eusocialevent1EU Skills Profile Tool – The tool is currently under development but you can try the Beta version here

The presentation of the EU Skills Profile Tool was made by Ms Sonia PERESSINI, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission.

The EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals is intended for use by any services that may be offering assistance to third country nationals and should be used in an interview situation to get to know the individual, their skills, qualifications and experiences. The focus of the tool is to help individuals produce a profile of their skills and to help an adviser identify any recommendations or next steps. The information collected can be used to:

  • support further assessment,
  • form a basis for offering guidance,
  • identify up-skilling needs,
  • support job-searching and job-matching.

The tool is not intended as a recognition or authentication tool.

The tool will be available in all EU and EEA languages and in Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Sorani, Somali and Tigrinya. It will be possible to see two languages at the same time on one screen, reducing language barriers between case workers and the third country national. When information is not available in one of the chosen languages it will be presented in English. The tool shall be available as a web-tool for PC and Mobile devices, and possibly in a mobile app. It will be possible to complete the tool offline and online. Instructions on how to complete the fields are integrated in the tool. Completed profiles will exportable as PDF, Word or XML files.

As the tool is under development the European Commission encourages to test the Beta version and send an email to with the word “Feedback” in the subject line.

In the words of Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility “The Launch of EU skills profile tool will help to identify documents and certificates of migrants, Identify how to make integration a successful story and  their talents are needed by our economy”

The EU Skills Profile discussion and interviews about the tool

In 2014, over 2.3 million third country nationals attained resident permits in the EU. In 2015, approximately 1.3 million asylum applications were recorded in the EU. Action is required to improve skills levels and qualifications among migrants and the use of their existing skills and qualifications to support effective integration into the labour market. The tool came to support this action.

The opening address was given by Mr Mr Peter O’Sullivan, (Resettlement,Project Coordinator UNHCR) who stressed the importance of changing our narrative towards refugees making it more inclusive. Civil rights and stability is what they are looking for, he added. What we retained from his speech was a positive and constructive note “The arrival of refugees should be seen as an asset and not as a burden, as their experience, qualifications and skills can contribute to our societies development”. In his opinion, this tool is an starting point which could be use by the employment centers in order to better help new arrivals and justify their qualification, and definitely to ensure that they can get to the path of employment.  

First interview showed us how the integration is possible, but difficult as well.  Mr Juvet Mbah (Cameroon)  explained us from his own experience “the importance of skills identification for integration” in Italy.

eusocialevent2I arrived to Italy in 2013, when I was underage, and I decided to apply for protection to the Italian Government. At the moment, I am developing a project with the aim of integrating myself in the Italian society, and I am studying to become an operator in the social and health care.

I am studying Italian very hard and i completed the Scuola Media in Italy. Now, I am trying to get my Driving Licence and I hope I will find a good job in Cremona, the city where I live. I have also done voluntary work with vulnerable people, old, disabled and terminally ill patients with AIDs.

I have a lot of friends in Cremona and I am also a Scout; I love taking care of children and make them play and have fun.

From the perspective of David Longhi, Work Service Operator of the city of Cremona (Italy) the approach of the EU tool is really welcome. The assessment of skills is really important, but he stressed that is needed as well to asses citizenships skills. As some newly arrivals don’t have the social skills to look for old people. So this kind of training could help them to integrate faster. All in all the idea isHelp them to make them ready to access labour market.   

Second opening speech was given by Mr Matthias Ruete, Director General DG Migration and Home Affairs and Citizenship, European Commission. He put in the core of the debate the new agenda of the European Commission President, Mr Juncker who has moved the migration issues to the top of the agenda. Until, in his opinion, the tools that the had were not the right tools. That’s why he sees this new tool as important step ahead as build the bridges in between administrations. This tool will be particular relevant for asylum seekers and refugees. As during the conference was saying and practical examples demonstrated is really difficult to go through the recognition process. As there is no reference from the country that they come from, some of them have no knowledge of the country that they arrive or even certificates proof. Therefore, documenting skills of migrants and refugees is a pre-condition to be integrate to the labour market and to the education system. 

Back to interviews, one of the most interesting presentation of the day was from Ms Maria Nomikou, British Council’s Project Manager Greece who presented the project “Language for resilience” and how the role of language can enhance the resilience of Syrian Refugees and host communities. The British Council programme includes young people and create a learning path for them and to identify the skills that they needed language, training, VET, social… She explained that first we need to understand  migrants and refugees backgrounds as they come from different countries and with different knowledge and skills.They had the chance to test the EU Skills Profile tool. They start to use with their students, but first is needed to set an trustful the environment, and the tool needs more languages . 

Next interview was to Mr Arnaldo Abruzzini, CEO EUROCHAMBRES  on the Importance of skills identification for integration from the business perspective. He asked as well for a coordination as we are seeing the launch of different tools with the same idea behind. For instance, there is tool develop in Germany  use by the Chambers of Industry and it will be available in all the chambers assessing and training for 3rd nationals that want to stay in the country. Second, the tool in Germany by a constant feedback from the counselors and advisors. He stressed the importance of train the counselors that are helping refugees to get an stable life.

The panel discussion gathered: Jean-Christophe Dumont (OECD), Margo Hoftijzer (World Bank), Xavier Matheu de Cortada (European Training Foundation), Pia Falck (Swedish Employment Service), Michael Van Der Cammen (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) and Lara Rafaini (Italian Reception centre Cremona). Some ideas from the panel:

  • This (the tool) should be seen as the starting process for the evaluation of skills and qualifications. But you need to really look into the different stakeholders to make this a game changer.  Jean-Christophe Dumont (OECD)
  • Identify aspirations, give a chance to migrants to express what they would like to do. Engage with companies to keep the discussion.  Jean-Christophe Dumont (OECD)
  • Sometime refugees cant develop the same jobs that they have at their home country. Margo Hoftijzer (World Bank)
  • Not just assessing individuals but also a survey that try to assess the SME having the whole picture to best place people but also that SMEs can find what they need. Margo Hoftijzer (World Bank)
  • To recognise VET or skills and competences is even more difficult as there are different ways to learn it and systems. The crisis have shown that all the ideas that countries have develop to help, there are not in place and there were in a pilot phase.  Xavier Matheu de Cortada (European Training Foundation)
  • Our experience: culture and language skills, set up communication channels and try to find where the asylum seekers are. So mentoring from other people who passed by the same situation. Collaborating all together. Pia Falck (Swedish Employment Service)
  • Offer these tools to develop a balance, integrated process into Italian society. From our perspective, our job is not only incomes the possibility to give them the opportunity to be recognise as a citizen. The skills profile tool is extremely important, they try with young people. Certain found very important tool, particularly for those who work in education and social care. Lara Rafaini (Italian Reception centre Cremona)

Ms Patricia Van der Peer, Head of Department Asylum support EASO, added the legal framework to the discussion. She highlighted the importance of  recognisition of skills, equal treatment and access to the existing recognition process when this is not the case member should provide a tool. 

Closing remarks were charged to Mr Michel Servoz, Director General DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission: The essential is to make everything to make migrants and refugees into labour market. Even this tool is not enough, this is a contribution to pathway of integration but a connection between different systems working on the same is highly needed.

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