Improving educational opportunities, participation, and success, particularly for children and youth with migration backgrounds, is one of the central challenges facing our education system.
The Federal Government is determined to meet this challenge. This was expressed in the Desden joint declaration Qualification Initiative for Germany by the Federal Chancellor and Minister-Presidents of the Länder in 2008, and in the National Integration Plan (2007) as well as its first progress report. Together with civil society stakeholders, the National Integration Plan has been developed into the National Action Plan on Integration, which was publicly introduced by the Chancellor at the fifth integration summit.
The Federal Government will increase its budget for education and research to €12 billion by 2013. In the field of education, extra funds will be targeted to areas that are crucial to educational success. The BMBF will take new measures with particular significance for youth and young adults with migration backgrounds, while maintaining and developing those already established.
A large part of these supportive measures is not directed solely at persons with migration backgrounds. All children and youth requiring special support can take part. Those with migration backgrounds will often particularly benefit since they generally account for a large portion of the groups being targeted. A key aspect of the BMBF projects and support programmes focuses on the area of vocational training.
Furthermore, improved opportunities in the recognition of vocational training and occupational qualifications gained abroad are necessary not only for the integration of immigrants, but also to meet the demand for skilled labour. The corresponding "Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications Act" (the so-called "Recognition Act") enters into effect on 1 April 2012.
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