On 23-24 June, the EU Research and Innovation Commission will hold its European Research and Innovation Exhibition. The exhibit will open together with the 2021 edition of the Commission’s flagship ‘Research and Innovation Days’ event showcasing over 100 projects funded by the EU dedicated to “helping to build a Europe we all want to live in.” The ‘Skills and Integration of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Applicants in European Labour Markets’ (SIRIUS) project, partnered with the EUI’s Global Governance Programme (GGP), is one of the six research projects the Commission highlighted in the lead-up to the Innovation Days event.
SIRIUS, which launched in 2018 and is coordinated at Glasgow Caledonian University, is dedicated to providing systematic evidence on migrants, particularly young and female refugees and asylum applicants, and their potential for labour market employment and social integration. The project proposed theoretical frameworks for inclusive integration policies, and disseminated its research findings through mixed multimedia channels including: film essays, a job fair, policy dialogues and even a mobile game application.
The game, titled WORKEEN, created by a team of software engineers, economists and political scientists based in eight different countries, is focused on providing hands-on, soft-skill training for individuals entering the labour market. “The idea was to create an app that would familiarize newly arrived migrants, asylum seekers or refugees with the complicated process of getting your papers together, applying for a job, going to an interview and even spending your first days at work” said Anna Triandafyllidou, former GGP chair and current Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University. “We know that migrants are often lost in translation in understanding bureaucracy. So we wanted to come up with a tool accessible at any time and at no cost to prepare people give them a head-start.”
The app, which is available in nine different languages, incorporates research findings on migration and social integration taken from SIRIUS, and helps guide individuals through the steps involved in both finding a job and integrating into a new workplace. It provides extensive information to users and guides them through interactive gaming scenarios designed to help develop soft-skills necessary for adjusting to unknown work and social environments.
According to Triandafyllidou, SIRIUS is currently working closely with specific NGOs in different countries that run employability or digital literacy programmes for migrants in order to help them adopt the app in their activities and encouraging individuals to download it. “The added value of the SIRIUS Project, is that the development of WORKEEN app provides an example where research leads to a concrete product that can directly help the lives of migrants and newcomers.”
Learn more about WORKEEN by visiting the SIRIUS Project website, and download the application on the Google Play Store.
Visit the EU Research and Innovation Commission’s website to learn about the other highlighted projects taking place in the 2021 Innovation Days event.