Project background

PreQual-steps is based on the prior pilot project PreQual designed and managed by the migrant women organization maiz and conducted by nine partners from November 2004 until March 2007 within the EU-projectline Leonardo da Vinci (A/04/B/F/PP-158.130). Within PreQual the combined efforts of diverse national and international project partners had culminated in a partnership manifesting widespread competencies and experiences. While the operative partners included nine organizations from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain with experience in international projects, the co-operation of strategic partners and experts in the relevant fields consisted of 21 organizations from the six countries.

 

Project goals

The primary goal of the PreQual project was to provide female migrants with a recognized qualification and improve their chances for regular work and hence, more secure (i.e. less precarious) working conditions in participating EU countries. The unique prequalification program PreQual was developed by and for migrant women as a result of the PreQual project striving to fill a gap in the international education system for nursing and social care occupations. Consequently, the PreQual project addressed problems related to discrimination and racism in the job market and in the education system while at the same time working to contribute to dismantling these barriers faced by migrant women.

 

Approach

The innovative character of this project arose from the active participation of migrant women as experts in the development and test phases. The unique character of this project is its fundamental rejection of the usual deficit-oriented focus regarding migrant women on the labor market. Instead, the approach taken is one that focuses on recognizing and emphasizing migrant women's skills, knowledge and experience, as well as an acknowledgment of the structural mechanisms that prevent an appropriate application of existing skills on the labor market.

 

PreQual courseCover and Download of the PreQual handbook

The PreQual course and its curriculum are results of the intensive co-operation of nine operative project partners in six countries over a 30-month period (November 2004 - March 2007), in which the following steps were completed: (1) Researching and writing of reports on the situations in each of the participating countries. (2) Compilation of a comparative study. (3) Development of a framework curriculum in collaboration with numerous strategic partners and institutions providing health and care services. (4) Organization and implementation of pilot courses in Germany, Italy and Austria. (5) Evaluation of the draft curriculum. The evaluation, networking and dissemination measures were integral to every step of the project on both national and international levels. The principal purpose of the prequalification course is to convey the necessary intercultural, social and language skills for completing a formal education program in the health and care fields. The specific requirements of training programs for nursing and care occupations, the legal, cultural and social conditions, as well as migrant women’s wide spectrum of experience and know-how have all been taken into account. Project partners in Germany, Italy and Austria tested and evaluated the curriculum on hand within pilot courses. Due to the participating organizations’ varying areas of activity, organization structure and position (i.e. integration, in social structures), each pilot course was implemented in a slightly different manner. The self-evaluation process findings were considered throughout the entire project and integrated into the framework curriculum. Because of the different structural conditions in each partner country, each pilot course varied in its concrete implementation. Thanks to national funding by the regional government of Upper Austria the course actually is in its third edition in Austria (maiz).

 

Content of the handbook

The PreQual-handbook (translated into three languages DE, EN, IT) is one of the essential results of PreQual and provides background information, methods and content of the qualification program. It presents an outline of the PreQual curriculum, which was developed according to the project’s guiding principles: empowerment, awareness, participation and protagonism. Complementing this outline is a guide to teaching methods, working materials regarding subject matter as well as material for self-study and further reading. The handbook also includes a model of self-evaluation developed by maiz, which is an essential part of the curriculum. Examples of evaluation materials, as an introduction to the self-evaluation instruments, quantitative and qualitative methods of collecting information are also included. It primarily addresses trainers in the health and care fields.