Finding work is easier with new technology to help migrants enter the job market
To mark World Refugee Day on June 20, 2020, a new application called WORKEEN launches to help migrants, asylum seekers and refugees gain access to the job market.
WORKEEN is a serious game application, created by a team of political scientists, sociologists, economists and software engineers based in seven European countries and in Canada, to provide practical guidance and hands-on soft-skills training for anyone entering the labour market for the first time. The application draws from the research conducted in the Horizon 2020 research project SIRIUS “Skills and Integration of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Applicants in European Labour Markets” and is one of the first of its kind to offer interactive “training” that helps recently arrived migrant job seekers and EU citizens that are new entrants to the labour market, effectively obtain and start a job in their new country.
The application guides job seekers through the two stages of job search and workplace integration. It provides extensive information on how to adjust to new or unknown work and social environments and provides interactive gaming scenarios to help users develop the soft skills they need to be successful.
Stage 1) What you need to know and do to obtain a job offer
The first stage of WORKEEN helps the migrant, asylum seeker or the refugee follow all the necessary steps to secure an offer of employment. The application provides a checklist to help the user identify documentation they will need in their job search, such as their identity documents, language certificates, evidence of previous employment or education, and work permits. The user is then guided on how to present their skills and past experience through the creation of an online profile that is relevant to the new work and social environment they are entering. WORKEEN leads users through the final stage of a job search, providing information on how to contact a placement agency, write a cover letter and curriculum vitae and prepare for a job interview.
Stage 2) How to succeed in your new role
Once the first stage is successfully completed, the job seeker can explore WORKEEN’s interactive activities to help them prepare to enter a new workplace. Stage 2 is designed to help new employees become familiar with their new country or new position so they may avoid unpleasant tensions. It also makes them aware of their rights and prepares them to address potential exploitation and abuse. Serious games like WORKEEN give participants training on such matters as etiquette at the workplace, gender issues, everyday habits, communication issues, dress code, as well as labour standards and regulations. WORKEEN creates scenarios to help users navigate challenging situations from simple miscommunication on everyday encounters with co-workers or supervisors to facing bullying or abusive behaviour in the workplace or rights’ violations.
The WORKEEN application is available on Google Play store for Android devices, free of charge. It can be used in individual or collective training sessions organised by employment agencies, migrant organisations and other stakeholders. Naturally, it can be directly downloaded by migrants, refugees and asylum seekers or anyone wanting to develop their soft skills to gain employment. The application is available in English, Arabic, Farsi and in six different European languages (Czech, Danish, Finnish, French, Greek and Italian).