The EIPA two-day workshop on the BQ-Portal was a success

During a two-day workshop “Migration and Skills: Successful Labour Market Integration through Professional Recognition Systems”, the organisations involved in labour market integration of migrants from six different European countries gained valuable insights into the BQ-Portal project, a European Public Sector Award (EPSA) winner of 2015.

The workshop took place on 2-3 March 2016 in Berlin in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and was organised by the European Institute for Public Administration (EIPA). It illustrated how to organise a cooperation between the competent bodies, responsible for the recognition process, employers, employment services and training organisations by the use of a common platform in order to facilitate recognition of foreign professional qualifications.

The presentations were provided by experts in education and industry sectors, by experts from chambers of commerce and skilled crafts who are conducting the recognition procedures, by representatives of the companies actively recruiting foreign professionals as well as by representatives from the German employment service. Furthermore, there was a visit to an educational institution from the motor vehicle sector, which offers adjustment qualification programs for recognition seekers.

The workshop equipped the participants with concrete methods for facilitating recognition of migrant’s vocational qualifications and thereby their labour market integration. This issue is of high-level political importance in Germany due to the skills shortages and in the EU due to the European labour mobility and the recent influx of refugees.

In 2015, the BQ Portal was recognised as the best and most innovative performer in public administrations across Europe. During an award ceremony at the Provincial Government House in Maastricht, the BQ Portal was awarded the European Public Sector Award trophy in the European/national/regional category by the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). Some 266 projects from 36 European countries and the European institutions participated in competition. However, only three projects won the European Public Sector Award.