The good practice in a nutshell
The working-life tutor training is designed to give the participant skills and know-how for acting as leader/tutor of a working-life-themed peer group for job-seeking immigrants. The training consists of lectures and workshops (25 hrs) about working-life issues, peer tutoring, and information about training options and on other paths leading toward working life.
The main themes of the training
- peer tutoring
- intercultural communication
- employees’ rights and responsibilities
- work culture
- how to apply for work
- trade unions and membership
- the various paths and options leading to working life or adult education
- tips for self-study-based online language courses
Developer or user
The working-life tutor training was developed and implemented during the Catch Up with Work project in 2018 and 2019 in Finland. The training providers were the Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki and Tampere Adult Education Centre.
The training is especially targeted at well-integrated people with a migrant background who already have experience in local working life and at native citizens interested in studying working life’s content and peer tutoring.
Why it is needed
The training is designed to supply information on current working-life issues, seeking a job, and the various options for taking steps toward education and work while also updating the participants’ knowledge of all this content. The purpose of the peer tutoring may differ, depending on the type of organisation where the participants tutor their groups.
The tutors can give peer support at places of work to help people orient to local working life and organisational culture. In third-sector organisations (NGOs), trained peer tutors can give study or career counselling to unemployed people who are trying to progress toward working life.
The good practice requires:
- a trainer or several trainers
- co-operation with NGOs and/or trade unions / with your local network
- catering costs
Upon completion, the participants have up-to-date knowledge of working-life issues, intercultural communication, and peer tutoring, as well as practical methods and exercises that can be adjusted to the peer groups at places of work or other organisations. The training is a further-education course for workplace instructors, peer-group tutors, HR staff, or people who want to get familiar with the themes included. It can also spark an interest in guidance counselling.
‘Do’s and ‘don’t’s
- Interview all the applicants for the course, to find out their motivation.
- Make sure the participants are ready for self-study and for sharing their knowledge, skills, and experiences and also to learn from other peer learners.
- Use participants’ expertise as much as possible.
- Establish a social-media group where they can share and chat freely.
- Don’t be authoritative – you are a facilitator on their path to being peer tutors!
- Build an open atmosphere with icebreaking methods – these can be used with the group later.
- Let the participants discuss extensively – change the composition of pairs and groups for the work so that they get to know each other better.
- Use many methods, and let the participants test them freely at work or with each other.
- Don’t give too much information on every theme – let the participants find information on their own in accordance with their interests and share it.
- Concentrate mainly on positive experiences, examples and cases, etc. They keep the participants more motivated to improve working life and guide the whole society toward greater diversity.
The training can be arranged for all kinds of organisations (public service, SMEs, NGOs, etc.) in need of a tutor to support and improve understanding of working life and work-life culture for employees from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Quotes from the other project partners:
‘More guidance for newly arrived persons would be welcome. A reference person would be an interesting and useful way to guide them in the complex structures.’ (EVA bxl, Belgium)
‘The combination of classic information and the peer-group experience is nice, because this way the target group have a reference person to ask questions and have direct information. The target group get clear information and don’t have to go from one service to another.’ (EVA bxl, Belgium)