mentoring migrants and refugees

In many European countries migrant youths or young people from ethnic minorities do not have any role models in future-oriented fields throughout their job careers, neither within their families nor in their social contexts. If at all, they tend to take up traditional job trainings and jobs, as they and their families do not consider other options for various reasons.

Therefore it is considered crucial to offer youngsters mentors from their own ethnic communities who accompany them on their way to a successful VET and job career. Mentors are meant to support these youngsters as a role model in the education and training phase which is vital for their future career. It is considered crucial to offer youngsters mentors from their own ethnic communities who accompany them on their way to a successful VET and job career.

In the partner countries of the TANDEM NOW project, this problem manifests itself differently:

The study “Life and employment situation of migrant young people with minor presence at the labour market in the Tyrol”, led by Prof. Dr. Gudrun Biffl and Andreas Steinmayer (Donau-Universität krems) and Natalia Wächter (Austrian Institute for Research on Young People) shows that these young people need a specific career orientation and assistance when starting a job or an apprenticeship.

In Italy, 43,8% of young migrants abandon their school education (in comparison, this applies to only 16,4 % of young home country nationals).

In Germany, young adults with a migratory background are often discriminated in several aspects. Due to the social background of their parents many of them have a lower school education level as the home country nationals of the same age. As a consequence, they often do not follow up on further education and rarely have a higher professional qualification, much less a university degree.

However, if young migrants have achieved qualifications, they can significantly improve their position at the employment market compared to those without education. Sometimes they can be even more successful than young home country nationals.


Overview of project

TANDEM NOW is based on the experience and the results/products of the initial project TANDEM and will contribute to the training of mentors with best practice examples. The products will be adapted to the needs of the young migrants and to their respective regional contexts. In addition to the development of social competences, the project will take into consideration the respective situation of the employment market for each of the youngsters.

In the course of the piloting process the adapted materials will be implemented in the training of the mentors and in the mentoring activities offered to the youngsters.

Thus, the materials will also be evaluated and extended to further languages by the consortium.

Mentoring works as a strategy for helping people, particularly disadvantaged groups, such as unemployed, young people and/or immigrants to improve their professional opportunities and succeed in life. It is an instrument to provide those persons with the confidence, the resources, and the skills needed to live up to their potentials.

“Blended Mentoring” is a mix of on-site (face-to-face) and online activities designed to allow for adopting mentoring as an ordinary practice in career counselling and development services.

Progress in the use of technology (such as cyber-counselling) and the introduction of new methodologies like mentoring could enhance the contributions of career counsellors to the individual development of applicants and give access to a broader range of customers. TANDEM NOW will promote technological developments regarding mentoring and the use of ICT to improve the career opportunities of specific groups of the population. From an overall perspective, the project will contribute to meet the Lisbon Strategy through promoting innovation of career guidance services on a cost- effective basis, better levels of employability and an increased adaptability of workers.


Runtime: 2012 - 2014
Program Scheme: Lifelong Learning Program of the European Union
Sub-Program: Leonardo da Vinci
Promoter: Volkshochschule Tirol, Austria
Website: Tandem Now