Webinar: improving Labour Market Inclusion

Second webinar within focus on different experiences on how regions work to improve labour market integration policies

Labour Market Inclusion

On November 10th, the Assembly of European Regions in cooperation with IOM and the Intercultural Regions Network hosted the webinar “Intercultural regions: improving labour market inclusion“. This was the second webinar co-organised within the framework of Includ-EU project which works towards building more inclusive and cohesive European Societies.

The webinar, which was moderated by Geertrui Lanneau, Senior Regional Labour Mobility and Human Development Specialist from the IOM Regional Office for the European Economic Area, the European Union and NATO, presented different experiences on how regions work to improve labour market integration policies and provided insights from IOM, and the European Commission.

Multistakeholder approach to support cultural diversity

Fereshteh Jalayer-Hess, co-chair of the Intercultural Regions Network, County Councillor of Värmland (SE) opened the webinar by sharing her personal experience of escaping a totalitarian regime and embracing a society which tolerates and appreciates cultural diversity. The multistakeholder approach is key to achieve a society where all inhabitants are included and given the chance to contribute and develop.

Ms. Jalayer-Hess explained how lowering barriers for the access to the labour market is instrumental in delivering on other objectives such as improved education, active participation, political engagement and social cohesion. The Intercultural Regions Network, provides therefore a platform for regions to share knowledge resources, experiences.

Upcoming changes at EU level

Antoine Savary, Deputy Head of Unit, DG HOME, European Commission, provided the latest development in the field of integration of migrants in the labour market, announcing that on 24 November the European Commission is going to adopt the Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion. Mr. Savary stressed the importance of the partnership of cooperation with local and regional authorities in the preparation, implementation, and revision of the programme.

This Action Plan will focus on inclusion as a whole instead of focusing on migration specifically. It lays out two key commitments in the area of integration:

  • Adopt a comprehensive Action Plan on integration and inclusion for 2021-2024.
  • Implement the renewed European Partnership for Integration with social and economic partners and look into expanding the future cooperation to the area of labour migration

Experiences from the regions

The Netherlands: a one stop shop for smoother integration pathways

Iris de Kok, Policy Advisor Asylum & Integration – City of Tilburg, presented the evolution of integration processes in the City of Tilburg. The new legislation to come into force in July 2021, allows a procedure where each migrant is guided throughout the program in order to make it easier to get familiar with the municipality they are living in. This approach combines the three-elements of participation activitiesskills training, and language courses in order to enable migrants to be self-reliant. This broader and interactive programme is developed in three phases: intake, orientation and work and skills route.

Greece: support towards self-reliance

Kostas Kousaxidis & Anastasia Arapidou, from IOM Greece, shared the example of the HELIOS project – Hellenic Integration Support for Beneficiaries of International Protection. It aims at increasing the beneficiaries’ self-reliance working on five areas of integration: integraion courses, accommodation support, employability support, integration monitoring, sensitisation of the host community.

Italy: the experience from the business sector

Several sectors of the labour market suffer from a shortage of skilled labour, especially in the informatics sector. In this context, Roberto Strocco, Head of Projects and Local Development Area, Unioncamere Piemonte presented the MATCH project – Migration of African Talents through the Capacity-building and Hiring is a 36‑month initiative funded by the European Union (EU) aimed at providing highly skilled talents from Senegal and Nigeria, where the IT, engineering and new technologies workforce is highly qualified, to private sector companies whose needs for qualified staff cannot be satisfied by the offer available on the EU labour market.

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