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Language Integrated Content Kit (LICK) was at the heart of a 5-day professional development project in migration and employability, organised by Wild Cherry Training and Education in multicultural Leeds, in the north of England, in June 2013. The aim was to increase the capacity of individuals and organisations working in this field. Twenty-eight youth and community workers from Bulgaria, Spain, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom shared their experiences of supporting young people to access employment. They identified common barriers to employment and explored situations of under-employment where communities are prevented from fully utilising the skills available among migrants. Participants were supported by a multiskilled training team with experience in teaching English as a foreign language using non-formal learning methods — an innovative approach to language learning in context. This helped to avoid the ambiguity and misconceptions that can arise from cultural difference and impede shared understanding on issues relating to migration. The participants gained the knowledge, understanding and skills to pursue a topic relating to their national context while discussing the issues at European level. The results were improved communication skills, including advocacy, and intercultural and teamworking capacities. Feedback also recorded in Youthpass showed that, delivered in this way, the training became a source of empowerment for each participant — enabling them to make more of a difference in the lives of the young people they worked with.
Originally from Brazil, Liz has lived in the United Kingdom for 2½ years; she credited the LICK training with helping her find a job as a community support worker: ‘It helped me with my confidence and inspired me to apply for the job. Two months later I was working.’ ‘Everyone knows good communication is important, but our experience has shown that one of the biggest obstacles to successful international projects is where the people involved have poor English language skills’, said Sue Dudill, Director at Wild Cherry Training and Education. Wild Cherry Training and Education is a social enterprise that supports learners at national and transnational level to optimise their skills.
The training course was funded by the Youth in Action national agency in the United Kingdom.