- Produce new empirical evidence on the labour-market integration trajectories of recently arrived immigrants.
- Provide an integrated picture of the role of policies in facilitating newly-arrived immigrants’ access to the labour market and to middle-skilled jobs.
- Examine concrete steps that governments can take to ensure that immigrant-integration policies and the broader system of workforce-development, training, and employment programmes support new arrivals’ access to well-paying, stable jobs.
- Labour market integration
- Migration and efficient use of human resources
- Geographical and occupational mobility
- Workforce development (vocational training, language training)
- Employment services
- Policy coordination
- The employment gaps between native and foreign-born workers not only persist but have widened since the onset of the global economic crisis of 2008-09, with particularly significant effects on women, migrants who come on a visa other than a work visa and immigrants from outside the European Union.
- While some EU countries have made sizeable investments in labour market integration policies over the past decade, they have focused primarily on getting immigrants into work. As a result, these policies have struggled to facilitate career progression over time.
- Europe’s demographic prospects make clear that countries can ill afford to squander the potential of their residents — wherever they come from.
- There is clearly no quick fix to the problem of immigrants stuck in low-skilled work or unemployment but there are promising innovations in some countries (and the project documents these).
ConclusionsThe project offers a series of recommendations for policy makers to consider, including:
- Improving the incentives for public employment agencies to serve the needs of migrants and developing a better-trained and/or more specialized workforce of advisors to provide both short- and longer-term career advice — rather than focusing exclusively on getting people to work as quickly as possible in any job.
- Funding partnerships between employers and training institutions to assist employers willing to facilitate language instruction or support apprenticeships and work experience programmes.
- Breaking down siloes between ministries /agencies and policy areas and improving the coordination of policies enacted at federal, state and local levels, while promoting common goals, information sharing and mutual accountability for integration outcomes.
- More effective evaluation of innovative labour market integration programmes and monitoring of their impacts over the long term
Project synthesis report:
By Meghan Benton, Madeleine Sumption, Kristine Alsvik, Susan Fratzke, Christiane Kuptsch, and Demetrios G. Papademetriou
LABOUR MARKET INTEGRATION TRAJECTORIESThe first, more data-oriented phase of the project included country case studies that consider the influence of individual characteristics and broader economic conditions on the employment prospects of foreign-born workers. The findings were summarized and compared in an analytical overview report.
By Meghan Benton, Susan Fratzke, and Madeleine Sumption
Country data studies:
A Work in Progress: Prospects for Upward Mobility Among New Immigrants in Germany
By Nadia Granato
Moving Up the Ladder? Labor Market Outcomes in the United Kingdom amid Rising Immigration
By Tommaso Frattini
Slow Motion: The Labor Market Integration of New Immigrants in France
By Patrick Simon and Elsa Steichen
Catching Up: The Labor Market Outcomes of New Immigrants in Sweden
By Pieter Bevelander and Nahikari Irastorza
A Tumultuous Decade: Employment Outcomes of Immigrants in the Czech Republic
By Daniel Münich
A Precarious Position: The Labor Market Integration of New Immigrants in Spain
By Núria RodrÃguez-Planas and Natalia Nollenberger
THE ROLE OF POLICIESThe subsequent research looked at structural and institutional issues. It evaluated the effectiveness of integration and workforce development policies in helping immigrant workers overcome barriers and move up into middle-skilled positions. In particular, the research assesses three core policy categories that shape immigrants’ entry into the labour market and their ability to gain locally relevant skills and put their existing skills to good use: 1) employment services; 2) work-relevant language learning; and 3) vocational training.
Country policy reports:Building an Integration System: Policies to Support Immigrantsâ€™ Progression in the Czech Labor Market
By Dušan Drbohlav and Ondřej Valenta
Shifting Focus: Policies to Support the Labor Market Integration of New Immigrants in France
By Mirna Safi
Investing in the Future: Labor Market Integration Policies for New Immigrants in Germany
By Carola Burkert and Anette Haas
Turning a Corner? How Spain Can Help Immigrants Find Middle-Skilled Work
Benign Neglect? Policies to Support Upward Mobility for Immigrants in the United Kingdom
By Rachel Marangozov
No Quick Fix: Policies to Support the Labor Market Integration of New Arrivals in Sweden
By Henrik Emilsson
Conference in BrusselsThe project results were also presented during a day-long conference in Brussels in November 2014, where panellists discussed among other things the dynamics by which migrants get stuck in low-skilled work and the role of training and employment services in helping them progress. This event was audio and video recorded and can be accessed at:
For additional information on this project and related issues, please also see: