02 SES 02 B, VET Systems in Local and Global Contexts
Skilled migration is seen in many countries as a key to counteracting labour market shortages and demographic challenges. The migration of highly skilled persons has already constituted the main emphasis of a number of publications (Peixoto 2001, Iredale 1999, Boyd 2013, Cerna 2014). These studies show that the labour market access of migrants depends to a high degree on the successful completion of respective recognition procedures, both in the European Union and in many countries beyond Europe. In international terms, there is already a series of countries in which the recognition of professional and vocational qualifications acquired abroad is regulated - Australia and Germany are two of them.
The paper describes and analysis the approach towards the recognition of foreign qualifications in their specific application context in Germany and Australia. Special focus is given to the underlying principles (the drivers for "skilled migrations") and governance modes in both countries.
Against this background some fundamental questions are linked with the implementation of recognition practices: How do countries with a long history of immigration (like Australia) approach the recognition of vocational qualifications? Which drivers influenced the promulgation of the German "Federal Recognition Act"? What are the perceived challenges to be faced in both countries? What is the main function and the purpose of recognition? And last but not least: To what extent recognition is treated first and foremost as a migration policy issue, a means for protecting domestic labour markets or as a challenge for vocational education and training?
Often discussed as a migration policy issue, recognition of qualifications acquired abroad has not until now been the subject of comparative VET research nor geared towards the target group of vocationally trained persons (skilled workers, journeymen, employees) at an intermediate qualification level (EQF level 3-5). The project MoVA “Models and procedures for the recognition of vocational qualifications and competences acquired abroad” tried to fill that gap by analysing recognition models and strategies in selected EU and non-EU countries from a VET perspective (Canada, Australia, UK).
Approaching the recognition of foreign qualifications from a VET perspective means to be aware of the fact that “qualification”, “occupation” and “VET” are social constructs carrying the very highest degree of cultural and societal connotations (Eberhardt/Annen 2015). The recognition models map these specific interpretations. They vary depending on - whether the focus is on a regulated or non-regulated occupations - whether the goal is permanent or temporary migration, - which type of qualifications is involved and - from which country the applicant is from. The paper ends with some reflexions on the "portability" of qualifications: if "qualification" is understood as "cultural capital" (Bourdieu) what it its value in another cultural context?
Eberhardt, C; Annen, S (2016): Information und Unterstützung im Rahmen Qualifizierter Zuwanderung in Australien, in: Berufsbildung in Wissenschaft und Praxis, H.5, S. 28-32 Annen, S., Eberhardt, C., et al (2012): Modelle und Verfahren zur Anerkennung im Ausland erworbener beruflicher Qualifikationen und Kompetenzen in ausgewählten Staaten – Gestaltungsprinzipien, Konstruktion, Umsetzung (MoVA). Bonn, URL: https://www2.bibb.de/bibbtools/tools/fodb/data/documents/pdf/at_13301.pdf Annen, S., Eberhardt, C., Gutschow, K, Knöller, R. et al (2014). Zwischenbericht Modelle und Verfahren der Anrechnung von im Ausland erworbenen beruflichen Kompetenzen und Qualifikationen. Forschungsprojekt 1.3.301 (JFP 2013) Bonn, URL: https://www2.bibb.de/bibbtools/tools/fodb/data/documents/pdf/zw_13301.pdf Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (2014): Bericht zum Anerkennungsgesetz. Beschluss des Bundeskabinetts vom 2. April 2014, Berlin. URL: http://www.bmbf.de/pub/bericht_anerkennungsgesetz_2014.pdf Boyd, M (2014): Recruiting High Skill Labour in North America: Policies, Outcomes and Futures, In: International Migration, Special Issue: Skilled immigration trends, 52/3:40–54. Cerna, L. (2014): Attracting High-Skilled Immigrants: Policies in Comparative Perspective. In: International Migration, Special Issue: Skilled immigration trends, 52/3: 69–84. Eberhardt; C., Annen, S. (2014): What is worth a qualification? Approaches towards the recognition of qualifications acquired abroad. In: International Journey for Cross-Disciplinary Suject in Education (IJCDSE), Special Issue Volume 4, Issue 2, 2014, p. 1991-1999. URL: http://www.infonomics-society.org/IJCDSE/Approaches%20towards%20the%20Recognition%20of%20Vocational%20Qualifications.pdf Iredale, R. (1999): The Need to Import Skilled Personnel: Factors Favouring and Hindering its International Mobility, In: International Migration 37/1: 89–123. Peixoto, J (2001): Migration and Policies in the European Union: Highly Skilled Mobility, Free Movement of Labour and Recognition of Diplomas, In. International Migration 39/1:33-61 Eberhardt/Annen (2015); Attracting, Integrating, Selecting. Reflections on the recognition of foreign qualifications in different contexts. Research in Work and Learning 9, Conference Proceedings.
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