2nd STUDY VISIT, Athens 19-21 November 2019

  • MILE 

MILE second study visit took place in Greece, Athens from the 19 to the 21 of November.

The study visit gave participants the opportunity of exploring the Greek context and dynamics, especially related with the assistance and integration of refugees and asylum seekers. In fact, Greece is one of the arrival country for the majority of the asylum seekers looking for shelter in Europe; but with the time, it nowadays became a destination country too. This means that aspects of long term integration, including economic and labour integration, are now crucial topics for local organisations in the sector. Nevertheless, partners, associates and stakeholder received an historical overview of migration in the country in general. Up to date data on the main working migrants communities in Greece were presented. Also, the point of view of local employers and job centers was taken into consideration.

On the first day, MILE local partner Hellenic Open University, welcomed the group in their head-office, presenting activities ahead and their main collaborators. Then, we visited the National Center for Social Research (EKKE), a Legal Entity under Public Law, supervised by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) of the Ministry of Development and Investment. The institute, who research around topics such as Social and Economic Inequalities, Social Cohesion Policies, Political and Social Institutions, Political Parties and Personnel, Government Policies and Public Administration, presented us their latest findings on Migration and Labour market in Modern Greek History and present times. 

Successively, we met representatives from the Department of Support and Social Integration of Migrants and Refugees & ACCMR, Athens Coordination Center for migrant and refugee issues. Their insights were crucial to better understand in which context migrants and refugees work and build their lives in the country, supported by these local services. 

In the afternoon, we could listen the point of view of professionals and employers thanks to GSEVEE The Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchant.

On the second day, all participants were involved in workshop activities, divided in three main working groups to analyse specific topics, presenting best practices from their countries and underlining issues and solutions.

The subjects addressed were:

  • Approaches and tools in training and integration into labour market. Subtopic: Legal issues concerning the integration of migrants into the labour market: challenges and solutions.
  • Social and personal support tools to reach, involve and accompany migrants into the labour market. Subtopic: Linking the process of migrant integration to real labour market needs: processes, synergies and strategies needed.
  • Employers’ organizations’ needs (based on research results – activity 2.1) and long- term involvement strategies. Subtopic: The desirable professional profile of migrants according to employer needs: required skills and training.

After discussing findings and proposal in plenary session, representatives from UNHCR Greece and IOM Greece, presented their main projects active on the territory to promote social security and long term integration support for refugees and asylum seekers in the country. Especially Helios Project, the Hellenic Integration Support for Beneficiaries of International Protection from IOM, and the ESTIA Project, Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation programme, from UNHCR Greece.

During the afternoon we had the great chance to visit a resource centre for refugees and asylum seekers in Athens, managed by METADrasi NGO, which is the main Legal Translation provider in Greece in the context of legal protection procedures. The organisation also delivers articulated programmes of language training for migrants and integration support too.

On the final day, MILE partners were busy at their Second Steering Committee Meeting, reviewing the project’s state of art and planning activities ahead. In this occasion, we have the possibility to see how MILE is implemented in each country and share ideas and best solutions to deliver high quality activities for both migrants and employers.

We would like to thanks MILE partner HOU for hosting the study visit and all participants and their organisations:

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