Migration of African Talents through Capacity building and Hiring (MATCH) is a 39‑month initiative funded by the European Union (EU) aimed at providing skilled talents to European private sector companies whose needs for qualified staff could not be satisfied by the offer available on the EU labour market. The project started in January 2020 and officially ended in April 2023.
By joining MATCH, companies from Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands and Luxembourg were supported with the sourcing and pre-selection of African talents from Senegal and Nigeria, two countries offering a surplus of qualified professionals. In light of the travel restrictions that were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the originally envisaged physical relocation of African talents to Europe, the MATCH project also offered a set of tailored hybrid and/or remote working arrangements from which the hiring companies could choose, based on their preference. Contractual conditions, including the length of the employment, also varied according to the type of employment foreseen by each company. In the case of relocation to the EU, the contractual conditions were to be in line with the rules and regulations of the country of destination. In case of remote working, the contractual conditions were to reflect the rules and regulation of the country where the talent resided and performed the duties. There was also the possibility for companies to opt for a mixed approach, with for instance a period (or periods) of remote working coupled with short-/long-term assignments to the EU. In case of mobility to the EU, visa and relocation costs were covered by the hiring company, while the talent was responsible for finding an accommodation. IOM provided guidance on integration of talents into their new home counties.
The MATCH team also provided support to the participating Nigerian and Senegalese talents through preparatory sessions for the job interviews, soft skills trainings, pre-departure orientation, as well as assistance with the administrative procedures related to international recruitment. Here you can check out an example of an information leaflet prepared by the MATCH project to provide useful information to talents for their relocation to Belgium. In addition, IOM also prepared a standard presentation for the preparatory sessions that IOM organised with the pre-selected talents to help them get ready for the interview with a hiring company: take a look here at our preparation package!
Through the MATCH project, a scheme was set for private companies to recruit from new pools of talent. MATCH facilitated the collection of 657 CVs, out of which 378 were pre-selected for a total of 118 opened vacancies in 29 hiring companies. 121 talents reached the final stage of the recruitment process, and 8 talents were recruited by companies in Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium
Besides the job placements, the MATCH project also implemented:
- Complementary activities such as skills development training.
- 14 capacity building activities in Senegal and Nigeria such as Methodology for the development of Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) curriculum for job placement abroad and trainings on ethical recruitment, and legal protection of migrants under international conventions for public service actors. Download the full report here.
- 8 trainings for private companies on inter-cultural competences, diversity and inclusion, practical and legal requirements for international recruitment.
- Knowledge sharing between the participating EU and African countries in order to ensure that this labour mobility initiative is fully beneficial to the migrants and the participating countries.
This initiative benefited from the support of the following partners:
Voka West-Flanders, Voka East‑Flanders, VDAB and Agoria
IMS - Inspiring More Sustainability
In the Netherlands
The Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC)
MATCH in Practice
Finding the Best Talents for your Company’s Needs
Get to know MATCH more – general video
MATCH success stories
Mas’ud Abdullahi from Bejo Zaden
Amaka Anabor from Manuchar
Chinedu Paul Onuegbu from Chore-Time
Circular migration in the Italian context
Our thematic webinars
Labour Migration Schemes
National Conference: Skills Mobility Partnerships
EMN Belgium, in cooperation with Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency and the International Organisation (IOM) for Migration Belgium & Luxembourg organised a two-days national conference on Skills Mobility Partnerships. This event was the fruit of an intensive dialogue of EMN Belgium, Enabel and IOM Belgium and Luxembourg with local, regional, national, and European stakeholders that are involved in the development of Skills Mobility Partnerships. The conference brought together several stakeholders, both private and public actors, to discuss the policy and practice regarding Skills Mobility. You can find the recordings of the conference in the following links:
Conference on Piloting Skills Mobility: Lessons learned from the MATCH project and the way forward
On Thursday, 17 November 2022, MATCH organised the project closing conference “Piloting skills mobility: Lessons learned from the MATCH project and the way forward”. The main objective of the conference was to disseminate the main outcomes and lessons learned from MATCH as well as to discuss the future of skills mobility partnerships. In case you missed it, or if you would like to refresh your memory, you can access the conference recordings, the slides of the lessons learned, and much more in this dedicated website.
This project is funded by the European Union's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund