Report from transnational conference: Strategies of the integration of migrants in the local labor market, 21.05.2015, Munich, City Hall
On May 21, 2015 in the Munich City Hall the transnational conference took place under the banner:
Strategies for the integration of migrants in the labor market. The meeting concluded the two year Polish-German cooperation project Active MIGrAnts in the Local Labor Market (AMIGA). The event was organized by German project partner the Department of Labor and Economic Development, the City of Munich (RAW) in cooperation with Polish partner the Centre for Migration Studies (CeBaM) at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.
The conference featured over 110 representatives of 44 institutions from Germany and Poland, who in their either administrative, academic, or practical work deal with the issues of labor market and migrant integration.
The conference was opened with welcoming speeches of Dr. Manuela Olhausen, City of Munich
City Councilor and Maria Remiezowicz, Director of Health and Social issues Department of Poznań City Hall. They both praised the development of local AMIGA actions in partner cities, their European exchange and cooperation.
Next, two AMIGA project coordinators Karolina Sydow from Poznań and Dr. Magdalena Ziolek-Skrzypczak from Munich presented AMIGA results and recommendations for both new and old migration cities and announced the release of the project final report: Strategies to support migrants in the labor market (download here). The publication informs about the strategies for the integration of (qualified) migrants in the local workforce, which have been locally developed and implemented by project partners from Munich and Poznań. It presents the focal points of the transnational exchange and recommendations.
Afterwards, the Mayor of Munich Josef Schmid elaborated on the importance of the AMIGA Project for the capital city of Munich in view of labor market shortages and importance of qualified migrants for the local economic development.
The morning session concluded with the panel discussion with the experts from the field of academia (Prof. Michal Buchowski from CeBaM and Prof. Rudolf Tippelt from the Ludwig Maximilians Universität München), economy (Jens Wucherpfennig from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria) and practical integration work in the partner cities (Anna Davydova from the AMIGA team in Munich and Karolina Sydow, AMIGA project leader from Poznań). The following three thematic areas were intensively discussed:
1) Migrant integration in old and new migration cities, skill shortages and migrant potential
2) Organization of services for migrants
3) Possibilities of the application and the role of research on migration in local practices, operational programs and policies.
Despite differing national and local contexts for the integration of migrants in the labor market in the two AMIGA partner cities it was agreed that the transnational sharing of research and practical experience proves to be a valuable source of potential solutions to common challenges faced by policymakers, companies and organizers of support for migrants in both new and old migration cities throughout the EU.
The afternoon session was devoted to practical experience derived from local AMIGA activities in Poznań and Munich and discussion with the audience. First, Dastin Schulz from the AMIGA Project Management in Munich presented the concept, statistics and evaluation of the MigMENT Mentoring Program. Secondly, Dr. Izabella Main, focused in her presentation on the organization and functions of Migrant Info Point in Poznań. The last two presentations were devoted to ways of reaching out to migrants in the local communities. The first lecture was delivered by Ioanna Kinazidou and Rong Wang from the AMIGA team in Munich, who informed about scouting campaign in Munich. During the second lecture Dr. Izabela Czerniejewska and Agata Kochaniewicz from the AMIGA team in Poznań presented the concept of streetworking. All presentations in the afternoon session were followed by the question and answer period, during which the audience actively took part.
Although the manifold program of this one-day conference provided only limited time for debates, the meeting have stimulated more intense exchange on the issues of labor market integration of skilled migrants and networking between both German and Polish participants.
The official part of the AMIGA meeting in Munich was followed by an internal two-day workshop of both AMIGA teams in Ohlstadt. During the workshop the team members discussed future common goals and further plans of transnational cooperation within AMIGA action fields in the near future.