Seamless Inclusion. a Study of Best Practices from Integration Educations in Canada and Finland

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Sanna SAKSELA-BERGHOLM, Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland
Tobias POTZSCH, Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland
How can integration educations facilitate the more seamless inclusion of migrants into working life and civil society? At present this process is time-consuming and many migrants assert that they lack opportunities of fully participating in society before having completed years of language studies resulting in an atrophying of professional skills and feelings of frustration. This paper discusses our forthcoming comparative study of integration educations as organized by two vocational schools in Finland and a LINC program in Canada. The aim of the study is to identify best practices of inclusion of refugees and migrants in the labor market and civil society of the receiving countries. Our paper will discuss key contested terms such as diversity, inclusion and integration, how these concepts are defined and shaped by the institutional structures within both societies, and how these in turn frame the planning and implementation of integration educations in the partner vocational schools. Our assertion is that supporting students’ own interests and competences should become central points of departure in the realization of integration educations, as well as in the creation of contacts with the labor market and civil society. Our data consists of background documents and preliminary interviews with teachers, planners and support staff involved in integration programs.