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Workshop Schools in Navarra promote the integration of immigrants

According to a study carried out by the high school of Culture and Society of the University of Navarra, the Workshop Schools constitute a lever of employment rate for the immigrant population.

20/06/13 09:36 Isabel Teixeira da Mota
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The foreign population residing in Navarre amounts to 67,714 people.
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A group of research directed by María Ángeles Sotés, researcher of the Institute for Culture and Society of the University of Navarra, has delimited the profile of the student body-immigrant worker of the Workshop Schools of Navarra with the goal to identify the current state of this subject of training for the employment and to open possible lines of improvement in the training of the immigrant workers in the region.

The project of research began in the first semester of 2012 with a survey through which the sociological profile , educational, labor and future expectations of the student body-immigrant worker of the Workshop Schools of Navarra were obtained. At the time the study began, there were a total of eight Workshop Schools operating in Navarra. A total of 110 responses were obtained, which represents almost 100% of the sample composed of young immigrants enrolled in the Workshop Schools.

The study carried out by the team of María Ángeles Sotés and Hildegart González aimed to corroborate the hypothesis that the model of training - employment of the Workshop Schools of Navarra is valid for the good integration of young immigrants. It can be said that they fulfill a triple goal, because they train them, favor their employment rate and thus achieve greater social integration.

The survey results highlight that the majority have high expectations of finding a work with the training they receive. Of those surveyed, 42.7% responded "yes, for sure" and 44.5% responded "I suppose so". It was also verified that, regarding the motivations for attending the Workshop School, the majority (88.1%) refer to "learning a profession" as their first motivation and 46.9% refer to "doing internships and gaining access to the labor market" as their second motivation. Another important fact is the high evaluation that the vast majority of respondents give to their trainers in the professional and staff: 74.3% said that what they valued most about their trainers was what they learned from them in the professional field and 25.7% what they learned at the level of staff, so that the trainers of the Workshop Schools are for them a reference point.

From 2004 to 2012 there has been 68.38% of student body- autochthonous worker and 31.62% immigrant in the Workshop Schools. According to the provisional data of the Register of Navarre as of January 1, 2013, "the population of foreign nationality resident in Navarre amounts to 67,714 people, which represents 10.5% of the total population registered in the region". But it must be taken into account that in the last few years there has been an important number of nationalizations in Navarre, issue , as explained to us by the Immigration Attention Office. This fact is also reflected in the Workshop Schools.

Ilundáin Workshop School

"The Workshop Schools, since they were established in Spain in 1985, were not intended in themselves for the integration of immigrants. But it is a fact that because of the ages they contemplate (16-25 years old) and because of the subject of training they offer, for unemployed people, the immigrant population has a significant presence in their programs", highlights María Ángeles Sotés.

The second phase of the study has recently begun with a Focus Group with the participation of the directors of five of the Workshop Schools that are part of the study: Juan Ignacio Barberena, Sergio Gil, Javier Goñi, Mertxe Pérez de Prado and Eduardo Sanz. Among other aspects, they pointed out that one of the values of the Workshop Schools is that they foster work habits in their student body-workers that prepare them for the work beyond the specific specialization program they are studying.

At the same time, Fernando Echarri has made a case study in the Ilundáin Workshop School, promoted by the Ilundáin Foundation located in the Aranguren Valley (Navarra), where traditionally work has been done with the socially excluded or at risk population. The results of the study reveal that since the arrival of student body-immigrant worker (2004) a positive synergy has been observed in the interaction of students-workers. "The attitude of work motivated immigrants produces a positive effect on their non-immigrant colleagues in the Workshop School", says Fernando Echarri, highlighting that "those who find it more difficult to work feel more inclined to do so, increasing efficiency and perseverance".