Intern. Con.: Development of a Policy Brief on Skills Mobility Partnerships b/n Africa & Europe in the Context of Existing Legal & Policy Frameworks

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: International Organization for Migration
Closing date: 7 Jul 2021

Call for Application – IOM-CFA/0079/21

Position Title: International Consultant: Development of a Policy Brief on Skills Mobility Partnerships between Africa and Europe in the Context of Existing Legal and Policy Frameworks

Duty Station: Home Based

Appointment Type: Consultancy

Deadline for application: 07 July 2021

Organizational Context and Scope

Considering the demographic changes globally, Africa remains an important contributor to the labour market in Europe. Europe granted first residence permits to 3 million people in 2019 which represent four percent of the population. Employment (41 %), family reunification (27 %), and education (14 %) accounted for the top three reasons for the first residence permits in 2019 (Eurostat: 2020. Migrant workers fill critical gaps in several sectors of the economy, including healthcare, hospitality, agriculture, and information technology. Africa accounts for the highest number of young people in the world, with up to 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24. Among the plethora of issues confronting this population is that African economies are growing at a rapid rate but there are no sufficient jobs created for Africa’s young people. In 2019, just one in over five youth in Africa were not in employment, education, or training (NEET), a trend that has been steadily rising since 2012. Experts have recommended that Africa creates jobs and strategically invests in skills development to cater to the 18 million youths who enter the job market annually. **

Target 10.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals calls for stakeholders to facilitate orderly, safe, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. Objective 18(e) of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration aims to “Build global skills partnerships amongst countries that strengthen training capacities of national authorities and relevant stakeholders, including the private sector and trade unions, and foster skills development of workers in countries of origin and migrants in countries of destination with a view to preparing trainees for employability in the labor markets of all participating countries.” It further calls for investment in skills development and facilitates mutual recognition of skills, qualifications, and competencies. Objective 5 recommends that States develop flexible, rights-based, gender responsive labour mobility schemes (temporary, seasonal, circular) for migrants, and fast-track programs to enable them to respond to labour shortages.

To manage labour migration between countries of origin and countries of destination, governments have strived to introduce policy approaches and tools, which in some cases are divergent, such as the use of Bilateral Labour Migration Agreements (BLMAs), and free movement protocols for certain skills/qualifications levels. It is well documented that, whereas these traditional approaches to foster skilled migration and mobility can be beneficial to destination countries they have had the unintended consequence of placing undue pressure on countries of origin due to brain drain. In the face of this, policymakers have embraced Skills Mobility Partnerships (SMPs) which are rooted on worker’s skills development while emphasizing multi-stakeholder collaboration to benefit all involved in countries of origin and destination. When managed well, SMPs can be a vehicle to meet skill shortages and labour market needs in countries of destination as well as improve the skill set and career prospects of the local population through educational reforms, capacity building and skills transfer in countries of origin.

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Union (EU) have had a long-standing collaboration on migration management, which is mostly focused on dialogues and joint action plans on combatting irregular migration. However, there is increasing recognition of the need to incorporate labour migration and mobility as part of the agenda. The 2020 Continent-to-Continent Meeting made several recommendations focusing on labour migration and mobility, notably, the need to strengthen youth employability by expanding Vocational Education and Training mobility, apprenticeship, and other work-based career guidance. This is aimed at addressing skills mismatch, academic mobility, skills recognition, quality assurance, and recognition as committed in the Continental Education Strategy for Africa. Similarly, one of the key areas of the 2020 EU Pact on Migration and Asylum (which identifies Africa as a priority region) is “promoting legal pathways to attract talent”. Key initiatives include ‘talent partnerships for mobility schemes’ with key non-EU countries aimed at addressing labour and skills needs in the EU. This will involve building or strengthening existing partnerships, capacity building for vocational training, and reintegration of returning migrants.

IOM, together with the AUC, ILO, and ECA, is implementing the Project “Priority Implementation Actions of the AU-ILO-IOM-ECA Joint Programme on Labour Migration Governance for Development and Integration in Africa (JLMP Priority)”. Funded by Sida, the three-year project objective is to contribute to improved labour migration governance to achieve safe, orderly, and regular migration in Africa as committed in relevant frameworks of the African Union (AU) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), as well as relevant international human rights and labour standards and other cooperation processes. The JLMP Priority project contributes to the implementation of the AU-ILO-IOM-ECA “Joint Programme on Labour Migration Governance for Development and Integration in Africa (JLMP). The JLMP is a long-term joint framework for the implementation tool for the 5th Key Priority Area of the Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment, Poverty Eradication, and Inclusive Development. Its strategy focuses on intra-African labour migration while addressing identified challenges of African migrants to other regions such as Asia, Europe and the Gulf. The JLMP supports achievements of the Agenda 2063 First Ten Year Implementation Plan (2014 – 2023), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Migration Policy Framework for Africa and Plan of Action (2018-2030).

Addressing skills shortages and recognition of qualifications is one of the key components of JLMP and the JLMP Priority project, with the strategic objective of ensuring that migrant workers in both the formal and informal sectors enjoy safe and secure working environments, access to and portability of social protection, and mutual recognition of skills and qualifications. This will be achieved through targeted interventions to promote the availability of in-demand skills and competencies with considerations for mutual recognition of skills and qualifications. It is in this context that IOM intends to recruit a consultant to develop a policy brief with the objective of analyzing Skills Mobility Partnerships (SMPs) between Africa and Europe in the context of existing frameworks.

Under the overall supervision of the Chief of Mission (CoM) in IOM SLO Ethiopia and direct supervision of the IOM JLMP Programme Coordinator and, in collaboration with JLMP Implementing Partners at the AU the successful candidate will develop the policy brief which will encompass the following the points:

a) In general, what are the trends in labour migration and mobility from Africa to Europe during the last decade, including in the covid19 context?

b) What legal and policy frameworks are in place at the continental, regional and national level, which support SMPs?

c) Overview of existing programs on facilitating regular labour migration from Africa to Europe.

d) How have African countries benefitted from skills mobility schemes and cooperation considering its demography, skills and migration networks, etc.?

e) What legal migration pathways exist for different skill levels between Africa and Europe?

f) What data sources and information are currently used to inform labour migration policies in Africa?

g) What skill mobility schemes or cooperation are existing within Africa and how effective have they been?

h) What are the challenges, lessons learned and good practices of implementing in Africa?

i) To what extent are stakeholders involved in negotiating skill mobility schemes for Africans? What type(s) of stakeholders typically lead the process?

j) What mechanisms are in place for monitoring, tracking, and reporting in the process of implementing skill mobility schemes?

k) What are policy frameworks/plans at the EU level relating to skills partnership with Africa?

l) What are the existing mechanisms for AU-EU Dialogue and how have they been utilized to foster regular migration between Africa and Europe? **

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Under the overall supervision of the IOM Programme Coordinator - JLMP and with technical collaboration of the AUC, ILO, and LMAC members, the consultant will:

(a) Examine existing skill mobility schemes, policy frameworks, policies, and processes which deal with promoting regular migration between Africa and Europe (including the ongoing schemes between Morocco and Germany, Spain and Belgium, the EU funded PALIM project which aims at developing cooperation between Morocco and Belgium through promoting professional skills for ICT graduates as well as the MATCH project, which aims at connecting ICT workers from Senegal and Nigeria with businesses in BENELUX countries and Italy).

(b) Give an overview of different cooperation frameworks between the AU and EU which have a bearing on labour migration.

(c) Consult stakeholders in AU and EU, and migrant workers on their perspectives on SMPs between Africa and the EU, while highlighting the effectiveness, lived experiences, and relevance of current skills mobility schemes.

(d) Collect data using mixed methods highlighting the numbers, classification, skills of African migrants who are engaged in SMPs in the different regions of the European Union.

(e) Prepare case studies (countries of interest to be selected) highlighting successes and challenges of SMPs and propose recommendations especially considering COVID-19.

(f) Recommend ways to maximize the engagement of the EU by the AU using appropriate channels.

(g) Outline policy recommendations on expanding opportunities for SMPs between Africa and the European Union, in order to mitigate the adverse socio-economic effects and aftershocks of COVID-19. To present findings to stakeholders and facilitate an interactive discussion with relevant stakeholders in a virtual workshop.

Deliverables and Detailed Timelines:

The consultant will deliver the following outputs:

  1. 1st draft of the policy brief targeted at AU-EU policymaking organs which captures the effectiveness of existing legal pathways, including on expanding opportunities for skills mobility partnerships (40 days)

  2. Facilitate a virtual presentation of the policy brief to relevant stakeholders. (5 days)

  3. Final policy brief incorporating comments from policymakers and practitioners (15 days).

* stakeholders to be consulted will include: Relevant AUC departments, EU, International development partners, Global Skills Partnership team, workers organizations, employers’ organizations, migrant worker associations, current & former beneficiaries of skills mobility schemes.


The consultancy will run for60 working days for drafting, review, presentation, incorporation of comments, and submission of the final policy brief.

Payment Mode:

• The consultant shall be paid a lump sum all-inclusive consultancy fee upon completion and approval of the whole task; no advance payments shall be made.

• The consultancy fee will be paid as Lump Sum Amounts inclusive of expenses related to the consultancy (such as travel). The contract price will be fixed regardless of changes in the cost components.

Required Qualifications and Experience


  • Master’s degree in Law, Public Policy and Management, Public Administration, Development Studies, International Development, or any other relevant university degree.


  • Extensive expertise, knowledge, and experience in the field of labour migration Governance, inclusive participation, access to justice, human rights promotion, gender, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding and support to democratic governance initiatives with a focus on citizen participation and empowerment, media development and elections.
  • At least 7 years of experience in working with the AU, RECs, international organizations such as IOM and ILO, or other agencies of the UN System and donors in the fields of Programme design, implementation, and reporting of similar or related projects (covering Africa will be an asset).
  • Strong research and analytical skills
  • Experience of at least 7 years in policy analysis.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Fluency in spoken French will be an added advantage. **


  • In-depth knowledge of the broad range of labour migration-related subject areas dealt with by the Organization, including migration and development, skills development, skills recognition, and skills transfer.


  • Fluency in English (oral and written) is required.

How to apply:

Interested candidates are invited to submit a Technical and Financial proposal and Sample writing of similar work along with their application/ motivation letter and detailed CV written in English via our e-mail address RECADDIS@IOM.INT, by 07 July 2021 at the latest, referring to the position title and Vacancy number in the subject line of your email; no photocopies of educational/training certificates is required at this stage; an applicant who doesn't follow the required application procedure will automatically be disqualified from the competition.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

We strongly encourage qualified women to apply!

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