Formal education and extracurricular activities have a powerful influence on how individuals perceive diversity. From early childhood education to lifelong learning, education and training are therefore powerful tools for building more inclusive societies.
Actions to support the inclusion of third-country nationals and to harness the diversity advantage include work on the school and extracurricular programmes, when this falls under the competences of the region or city, as well as the creation of opportunities for children and adults (parents, educators) of different cultures to build trust and mutual respect and create thereby favourable learning and working conditions for all pupils, irrespective of their nationalities, origins, languages, sexual orientation or gender identity, religions/beliefs.
Learner-centred approaches that take into consideration the needs, talents, skills, desires and mindset of individual learners (including their backgrounds), as well as the need to ensure learning is accessible at all stages of their lives, are crucial to achieving personal development and participate fully in society.
As for language, the provision of courses and other facilities for people with migrant backgrounds to learn the receiving country’s language(s) is important to ensure social and economic integration. It does however need to be supplemented with activities that highlight the value of other languages and enable people with migrant origins not only to preserve and transmit their languages to their children and other members of the community but also to take pride in them as a heritage enriching the local community. An intercultural city/region promotes multilingualism as a resource for education, business, tourism, cultural life, etc.
During the fifth Includ-EU webinar, participants discussed and looked into the policy context and different ongoing initiatives on access to quality education and training for migrants and Third Country Nationals (TNC), with a special focus on the lifelong learning dimension and as usual, from the lenses of interculturality.
Cedefop's Irene Psifidou's intervention was on "VET and Inclusion: a European Picture".