The final conference of the Forward project, “Women, Migration and Competences” took place in Rome on November 29th 2013, gathering 112 participants from a variety of backgrounds.
The programme included the presentation of the results of the Forward project, as well as a series of expert contributions which commented on the Forward methodology from several approaches, including competence development and recognition, as well as gender and migration issues.
After a welcome speech by Gaetano Domenici, director of the Department of Education Science of the University Roma Tre, Paolo Serrerri, professor of the department and member of the Italian team of the project, presented the conference and the Forward project. Professor Serreri, among other issues, outlined the educational opportunities provided by competence-based methodologies to overcome the challenges posed by social inequalities based on gender and migrant origin.
Mar Camarasa i Casals (Surt Foundation, Spain), as coordinator of the project, presented an overview of the project activities and its results, focusing on how migrant women’s experiences had been present at all stages of the project.
After this presentation of the project, a round table including members of all partner organisations allowed participants to have greater insight on the implementation of the Forward methodology in each country. Partners illustrated the international implementation of the Forward approach from a variety of perspectives: working with competence portfolios (Rachele Serino, PEOPLE, Italy, with the participation of one of the participants in the pilot testing of materials), validation of competences (Maria Toia, IREA, Romania), empowerment (Jenni Tuominen, Monika, Finland), occupational integration programmes (Anke Vogel, Frauenservice Graz, Austria), diversity of vulnerable target groups (Dovilè Rükaité, WIIC, Lithuania) and gender and migration (Laura Sales Gutiérrez, Surt Foundation, Spain).
The second round table of the conference gathered several experts on education and training from Spain and Italy, as well as representatives of Italian competent authorities. Luís Carro (Pedagogy Faculty, University of Valladolid, Spain) presented the Observal observatory and stressed that the Forward project met all the criteria of good practices established by the observatory.
Anna Aluffi Pentini (Pedagogy Department, University of Roma Tre) outlined some of the challenges presented by applying an intersectional approach including gender and migrant origin into competence-based models in general and the Forward methodology in particular.
Gabriella Di Francesco (Istituto per lo sviluppo della formazione professionale dei lavoratori – Isfol) placed the Forward project into the general framework of certification of competences in Europe.
Finally, Tiziana Cravero (Italian National Council of Equality) and Serena Matarese (Directorate of Immigration, Ministry of Labour) framed the Forward methodology in the context of gender equality and migration policies in Italy, contributing to the mainstreaming of the project and bridging the gap between research and policy.
The evaluation of participants remarked the success of the event, which also allowed for networking opportunities and the multiplication and mainstreaming of the project results, with the presence of professionals, authorities and researchers from several European countries.
On the previous day to the conference, the Forward partnership held their last project meeting at the School of Education Sciences of the University Roma Tre. This last meeting provided the opportunity to discuss the activities of the project in its final stage and the highly positive evaluation of the experience. The partnership also explored new possibilities of collaboration to maximise the potential of the results achieved after two years of hard work and possibly open the door for future challenges. Time to move forward!