There are two persistent and ongoing changes in the demographic make-up of EU Member States.
Europe is getting older and increasingly national economies are more dependent on immigration to meet current and future labour-force requirements.
While the rate of population ageing differs from country to country, the retirement of the post-war baby-boomer generation; significant increases in life expectancy; and the declining birth rates ensures that the ageing of the EU population will continue apace and the ratio of retirees to workers in Europe will double by 2050, from four workers per retiree to two workers per retiree.
During the second half of the twentieth century, all Western European states became countries of immigration and permanent settlement and immigration will remain an important feature in all European countries.
Immigration has become a 'normal' part of life in Europe.
The challenge for Member States moving forward is to enhance migrant integration into host country society and economy and efforts being made to attract workers from non-EU countries need to go hand in hand with measures to ensure social cohesion and equal treatment.
The BRAMIR Project consortium comprises 9 partners representing 8 Member States.
It is led by Jugendförderverein Parchim/Lübz e.V. from Germany who are supported by Centre for Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology from Cyprus; Meath Community Rural and Social Development Partnership from Ireland; E-Seniors: Initiation Des Seniors Aux NTIC Association from France; Oxfam Italia Intercultura Società Cooperativa Sociale di tipo A Onlus from Italy; Universitatea Din Pitesti from Romania; Future In Perspective from Ireland; Innoventum Oy from Finland and E.N.T.E.R. GmbH from Austria.
The consortium proposes the development and implementation of a multi-layered learning framework designed for seniors and older workers approaching retirement to enable them to be redeployed as volunteers to support the development of key civic and social competences within the established and growing migrant communities.
The project proposes a mutually beneficial arrangement affording the seniors target group an opportunity to remain active contributors to society while addressing the growing migrant integration problem.
The road to inactivity for older workers is more often than not a road of no return.
Research shows that prolonging the active engagement of impending and recent retirees’ impacts positively on their personal self-esteem, their mental and physical health and well-being, fights social exclusion and offers recognition of their continued importance to society.
In an Information Society, where knowledge is the prize commodity, the haemorrhage of knowledge that the large numbers of current and impending retirees represent will have a significant impact.
Research also highlights a number of key challenges facing new immigrants in host countries that government led initiatives to date have failed to overcome.
There is a “significant information gap as migrants experience a lack of knowledge about their new social and civic systems and a network gap as although immigrant organizations may help to build or solidify networks within immigrant communities they do little to tie these organizations to groups outside of the immigrant communities and while immigrant civil society groups create “bonding” social capital within their own communities they fail to achieve “bridging” social capital with the host community or other migrant communities.
The project consortium believe that using ethnicity or country of origin to define migrant needs within a host country is no longer a suitable approach. Instead the BRAMIR project will develop an innovative methodology based on an analysis of sinus milieu® groups within migrant communities.
This psychographic profiling approach will identify key variables within migrant communities taking into account criteria such as education, social and cultural values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles, and will inform the development of appropriate learning resources to support the acquisition of key social and civic competences.