What can we learn as a career counsellors from a person who is our client? Can we successfully counselling someone if we do not know his story? How do we contribute to society through career counseling?
These are just some of the questions that were opened at the international conference “Training Career Counselors for their Work with Refugees” held on August 27 in Berlin. The conference brought together more than 130 participants from Germany, Austria, Italy, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Syria, Sweden, Greece and Serbia.
The conference was opened by Karl-Heinz Kohn of the University of Applied Labor Studies who presented about the results of the three-year project “Counselling for Refugee and Migrant Integration into the Labour Market – Development of Courses for Higher Education and Public Employment Services” which was implemented in 6 countries – Germany, UK , Sweden, Lithuania, Turkey and Italy.
Former President of the German Parliament, Rita Sussmuth spoke about political factors, cultural barriers affecting the integration process, and the problems migrants face when starting a new life in another country. In addition, the question is what all career counselors need to know and take into account when working with this target group, and what are the challenges of career counseling when they work with migrant children involved in the education system and adults seeking business.
Anne Chant in the name of Canterbury Christ Church University highlighted the importance of collaboration between career counselors, refugees and educators, and the challenges that come to light when diversity meets value. Olga Kostoula spoke about the psychological factors in working with the migrant population and about strengthening the capacity of career counselors to help clients to build a future perspective. Representatives of Belgrade Open School had the opportunity to present the project ALMIT – Acceleration Of Labor Market Integration Of Immigrants Through Mapping Of Skills And Trainings with the poster presentation.