Skills to work

Guidelines for designing policies to strengthen labour market integration of refugees in the EU.

Refugees, as do other migrants, bring with them a wealth of experiences, skills and talents that
make them very valuable to European labour markets
. However, capitalizing on these skills and
talents is often challenged by a lack of adequate procedures to recognize and validate existing
skills, possibly leading to long periods of economic inactivity or to job mismatches. Meanwhile
employers continue to express concern toward the aging European population, and the challenges
they face to diversify and grow their workforces.

In recent years, fortunately, European Member States have taken important steps toward the
development of comprehensive systems for the validation of formal, non-formal and informal
prior learning
. Start-ups, digital applications and mentoring programmes have also contributed
through innovative solutions, as have initiatives designed and implemented by refugees and employers themselves.

This publication seeks to support efforts to enhance the skills recognition, recruitment and retention of refugees. Based on desk research and interviews with employers, government officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and migrant support organizations; furthermore, a selection of good practices were identified.

Recognizing Talent: stories from refugees and their employers
Hear the stories of Ali, Alisat, Dany and Ilnaz who fled from their countries of origin, and have successfully found employment in Europe. How did they have their skills and prior learning recognized? What challenges did they face on their path to employment? How has their job supported their own integration efforts? What motivated each of their employers to recruit a refugee?

Guidelines for designing policies to strengthen labour market integration
The guidelines that follow highlight how the skills and talents of refugees can be better matched
to the skills gaps that European labour markets currently face, and endeavor to guide policy
makers and project owners.

Success stories from Skills2Work
The booklet presents a sample of the success stories collected within the framework of the Skills2Work project to highlight the mutually beneficial relationship between refugees and employers in European Member States. Each person featured here has a story to tell about achievements, but also about personal challenges, about adjusting expectations and about compassion. Yet all stories have something in common: they promote the talents that refugees offer to our labour markets.

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