Integration of applicants for international protection in the labour market: EMN Flash


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This EMN Flash offers a short overview of how EMN Member Countries are supporting the integration of applicants for international protection in the labour market. Labour market integration is a crucial aspect of migrant integration and successful engagement in society. This is not only due to its role in providing economic independence but also because it has an impact on the health and overall well-being of the migrants. The importance of migrant integration in the labour market is notably more urgent considering the current labour and skills shortages across EMN Member States.

Over the period from 2017 to 2022, there were over three million applications for international protection, with the highest number recorded in 2022. The majority of these applicants were of working age, indicating a potential labour force for EMN Member Countries’ job markets. According to the 2023 economic survey conducted by Eurochambres, European businesses are facing significant challenges concerning labour and skill shortages. As a result, there may be an increased reliance on individuals from third countries to address the projected shortages.

Eleven EMN Member Countries have identified successful approaches to integrating applicants for international protection into the labour market. These practices typically involve vocational education, language training, and skills assessment. However, concerns persist about potential abuse of the asylum system and the risk of applicants for international protection facing precarious work conditions and workplace discrimination.

Challenges, mostly of a practical nature, were also identified when international protection applicants seek employment opportunities. The language barrier is widely reported as the primary obstacle, followed by difficulties in the recognition of qualifications. In certain countries, applicants for international protection encountered practical difficulties due to the complexity and uncertainty surrounding administrative procedures required for labour market access. Furthermore, legislative challenges are encountered by applicants in some EMN Member Countries, such as the requirement for additional documentation beyond what is specified in national legislation and discrepancies in defining the waiting period as stated in national laws.

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Author(s):European Migration Network
Publisher:Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission
Publication Date:09 Oct 2023
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