Managing the complexities of this multi-city initiative has meant six months filled with challenges, learning and innovative developments for the MiFriendly Cities project.
Building the team
The project aims to establish a new regional migration initiative by not only setting out a programme of activities for migrants, but also building cohesion by showing how this benefits the wider community. To achieve this, the project has brought together organisations from across the public, private and voluntary sector to work towards this common goal. Each of these 11 partners brings different expertise and local knowledge to the table, and the project is structured in way that makes the most of their individual strengths…
FabLab Pilot Course
The West Midlands Strategic Economic Plan’s principle objective is to become home to the biggest concentration of advanced manufacturing in Europe. This project will be training 300 refugees and migrants in advanced manufacturing techniques to help the region meet this vision.
A successful pilot was run back in June and at the Coventry FabLab by Coventry University , Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC), and Interserve. The pilot helped to identify key problems, such as the need for an additional instructor, and led the team to rethink how the employment mentoring from Interserve, which had been built into a week-long course, might function more effectively as a separate activity for participants.
Of the ten refugees and migrants who took part in the pilot – which was tied in with a 10-week programme delivered by other services in the city – three have since found employment. In total, 17 of the 300 target have been trained so far, some of those with support from previous FabLab students, which proved very successful…
It is an exciting prospect that these FabLab courses are developing a grassroots community of ‘makers’, and we hope that could potentially tie in to Coventry City of Culture in 2021.
Author: Nicole Twamley, MiFriendly Cities Asst Communications Officer, Coventry City Council.