ZongoNews Editorial: International Migrant Destinations – (Part 18) by Lesley Shepperson

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Lesley Shepperson, Managing Director at Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants Ltd., United Kingdom

According to a recent thematic paper by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), “The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) will set out a range of principles, commitments and understandings among Member States regarding international migration in all its dimensions”. The statement goes on to say “The GCM should make an important contribution to global governance and enhance coordination on international migration”. 

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Today I find myself asking how many more lives, and as a result, generations are we going to allow to slip through our fingers whilst we talk and discuss how we are going to solve the issues that face those that we have an obligation to help?  When people fleeing from their places and countries of abode often find themselves the focus of abuse, misuse, rejection and a barrage of red tape, no tape and invisible tape to navigate. When I read that some rush to a destination where only 4% of those with their ‘profile’ are expected to complete their education and 1% are expected to achieve, I must remind myself that although abysmal and heart wrenching, it is an improving picture, not the case for all and much opportunity for improvement. 

Earlier this year, the fifteenth coordination meeting on international migration took place in New York to discuss the actions that are currently being undertaken to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Amongst the promotion of building skills for intercultural dialogue, global citizenship education and access to quality education, it was encouraging to note the section on access to technical and vocational education and training (TVET).  

The acquiring of education and the ability to convert, apply and use that information to maximise technical and vocational skills to enhance self and others surely must be the goal. 

In November 2015, UNESCO adopted a number of TVET recommendations which include two specific articles relating to migrating people; article 27 calling for a greater focus on the needs of migrant and refugee access to TVET and article 42 regarding “mutual recognition of qualifications, as an enabler of learners’ and workers’ mobility”. To facilitate the latter, debates have been proposed to develop international guidelines on quality assurance and world reference levels that will allow international comparisons and recognitions. 

If achieved, this would be a tremendous step forward for all and serve to reduce the significant qualification and skills validation barrier that currently exists.  Let’s hope that discussions have a sense of urgency and the implementation of outcomes are timely, efficient and effective. 

Lesley Ahepperson is Managing Director at Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants Ltd. United Kingdom

www.sheppersonandshepperson.co.uk