SIRIUS POLICY BRIEF N. 3 - MAY 2019
Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees (MRAs) tend, for a variety of reasons, to be less successful in host country labour markets than natives. To reduce this gap, governments have put in place specific policies. The objectives of these migrant labour market integration (MLI) policies are 1) helping migrants to overcome handicaps and skill deficits to better succeed in host country labour markets 2) better matching migrants’ characteristics to employer needs by, for example, training them or guiding them to labour shortage occupations. These policies tend to focus on giving migrants appropriate skills for the local job market (notably, language skills, but others as well), and sometimes providing work experience and job matching services. Labour market integration policies for migrants are also usually centred around various active labour market policies (ALMPs), and integration training programmes.
The main barriers to labour market integration of migrants are similar across our sample of European countries (Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Italy, Switzerland and UK), and include lack of language skills, ineffective administrative and legal structures, lack of recognition of (home country) skills and qualifications, lack of needed skills and competencies, lack of networks, discrimination, exploitation, a general atmosphere of xenophobia in society and (perceived) cultural barriers.
In this policy brief, we present evidence and policy considerations about MLI programmes, expanding the eligibility to partake in these programmes, the recognition of prior education and experiences and the effectiveness of individualised integration plans.