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1 Improving the labour market integration of immigrants and their children First results from OECD country studies Jean-Pierre Garson Head of International.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Improving the labour market integration of immigrants and their children First results from OECD country studies Jean-Pierre Garson Head of International."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Improving the labour market integration of immigrants and their children First results from OECD country studies Jean-Pierre Garson Head of International Migration Division Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE Prague, 26 February 2009

2 2 r Country reviews for ten OECD countries („Jobs for immigrants“ (Vol. 1 and 2)) r Taking a human capital perspective: l Are the skills and experience of immigrants appropriate in the host-country labour market? l If so, are they « equivalent » to those of the native-born – and does this matter? l What means are available to immigrants to « transmit » / « communicate » their skills and experience to employers? r Second generation l Growing presence in the labour market in many OECD countries l Expectance of outcomes that are at least similar to those of the children of natives with the same socio-economic background “B enchmark ” for labour market integration r Employment rate as the key integration indicator The OECD reviews on the labour market integration of immigrants and their children

3 3 Lower employment of immigrants in most countries, but outcomes vary greatly Differences in the employment/population ratios between native and foreign-born years old, 2004/2005 average

4 4 Unemployment rate (national definition) of native Dutch and of immigrants and their children, years old Immigrants face higher unemployment and are more sensitive to economic conditions…

5 5 Evolution of employment/population ratio for Germans, foreigners and immigrants in Germany, 15-64, men ….and a recession can have long-term adverse consequences

6 6 Employment rates by education level between immigrants and the native-born compare less favourably for high- qualified immigrants… Differences in the employment rates by education level between immigrants and the native-born, 15-64, 2005/2006 Employment rate lower for the immigrants Employment rate higher for the immigrants

7 7 Employment/population ratios of children of natives and the second generation, men with tertiary education, and not in education Employment rates tend to be lower even for the highly- educated native-born children of immigrants

8 8 Learning from good practices. r Facilitate the rapid integration of new arrivals Early work experience is crucial: Link language acquisition with work experience (Sweden) Adapt language courses to the needs of the labour market and to immigrants’ competence levels (Australia, Denmark) Incentives for municipalities to get immigrants rapidly integrated into the labour market (Denmark, Sweden) Stepwise introduction into the labour market via training on-the-job, subsidised employment, and finally regular employment (“Stepmodel” - Denmark, Sweden) Target between 300 and 500 hours of language courses for the majority of immigrants (Sweden, France) Welcoming of immigrants via services “under a single roof” (Portugal)

9 9 Learning from good practices (cont.) r Facilitate contacts between immigrants and employers and overcome employer hiring reluctance l Enterprise-based training (Vocational Qualification Networks – Germany) l Temporary employment and temporary employment agency work as a stepping-stone to more stable employment (Sweden, Netherlands) l Wage subsidies are more effective for immigrants (Denmark) l Implement pro-active anti-discrimination and diversity policies (Diversity plans - France, Belgium) l Mentoring and network-building (Kvinfo mentoring for immigrant women -Denmark, programmes de parrainage - France)

10 10 Learning from good practices (cont.) r Make better use of the skills of migrants Enhance transparency on skills recognitio n (pre- and post-embarkation information - Australia) Provide bridging courses for professional integration with the involvement of all actors (professional integration of immigrant doctors – Portugal) r Pay more attention to the children of immig rants Promote immigrant employment in the public service (pre-police academy -Netherlands) Promote early contact with host country language for children of immigrants (France, Denmark, Germany) Put more weight to children of immigrants in school funding (France, Belgium, Netherlands) r Enable identification and subsequent mainstreaming of effective practices (Benchmarking of municipalities – Denmark)

11 11 Concluding remarks r Although low-skilled migrants often tend to be relatively well integrated into the labour market, long-term employability is an issue, calling for targeted language courses and other training r More generally, the uneven integration record of low-skilled migration in the past calls for better accompaniment policies, in particular early intervention for the children r Establishing contacts between immigrants and employers is essential for labour market integration, and a diversification of recruitment channels is needed r Discrimination is an issue. Much of this seems to be “statistical”, calling for a more balanced and informed debate r Immigrants tend to be disproportionately affected by the economic downturn, and this can have lasting adverse consequences. It is thus important that the labour market integration of immigrants remains a priority

12 12 Concluding remarks (cont.) r Lessons for new EU immigration countries r Integration policy needs as a prerequisite an effective combatting of irregular migration and a better management of migration flows r The current economic crisis calls the argument of “transit migration” into doubt, since many migrants may remain in the so-called “transit countries”. This means to tackle the question of migrants′ legal status r EU policy should thus help member countries which are at the external border of the Union to channel immigration into legal ways, and to reinforce accompaniment policies r New EU immigration countries can learn from the experience of more longstanding immigration countries, but can also take a fresh look at integration as the example of Portugal shows


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