Policies and measures for speeding up labour market integration of refugees in the Nordic region
22 Apr 2018
It takes on average five to ten years for a refugee to find work in the Nordic countries. As social inclusion is closely linked to successful labour market integration, and as during this period the refugee represents a cost to society, the question of how to ensure access to the labour market has been a prominent issue on the political agenda
Since the countries show both differences and similarities in their migration policies and practical solutions, the question is how we can learn from each other.
This report was produced by Nordregio on behalf of the Nordic Welfare Centre and is the result of a comparative study of policies and measures in place in the countries for achieving more efficient labour market integration of refugees. The scope of the report has been to focus on four aspects:
1. To what extent are practices of the early mapping of competences in place in each country – and what are the results so far?
2. How do the countries validate the work experience and qualifications of refugees – and what are the effects of validation for labour market entry?
3. How is language education combined with vocational training for faster integration into the labour market?
4. The role of civil society and informal networks in the integration process: Current status and untapped potential?
The report reveals a common understanding of important elements for sound integration into the labour market. The countries’ policies include early language training, competence mapping, skills assessment as well as recognition of foreign credentials and job search assistance and mentoring. Strategies and policies are illustrated by best practice initiatives, aimed to facilitate employment and to promote social inclusion based on evidence and expert assessments.
Although the report reveals a high degree of consensus on key elements for a successful integration, several challenges remain. The major risk of alienation still lies in the gap between those who have work and those who do not.
Our hope is that the report provides a sound basis for discussions on solutions to both contemporary and forthcoming challenges.
For more information on the project Nordic collaboration on integration of refugees and migrants, please refer to: www.integrationnorden.org
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