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Vocational education and training: bridging refugee and employer needs

Over the past two years, Europe has received an unprecedented number of refugees and asylum seekers. Many of these are here to stay, and the European Union needs to ensure that they enter the labour market and become self-reliant as quickly as possible.

Cedefop cooperates with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in supporting refugee integration through skilling and qualification. To this end, the two organisations launched a joint survey, carried out by Cedefop’s national ReferNet partners. The results of this survey form the basis of a briefing note published by Cedefop.

Vocational education and training programmes can help migrants connect with the labour market and find jobs matching their skills and qualifications. For this purpose, the survey has found, EU Member States have stepped up education and training provision and broadened access to it. Many countries have introduced new features to their systems, such as automated self-assessments, fast-track procedures and local community training supported by mentors.

Early support is critical to successful integration of refugees and asylum seekers. Besides language training, assessment and validation of migrants’ skills, guidance and work placements play a crucial role. To be effective, information and guidance should start as early as possible, ideally before migrants reach their destination, especially in view of their (re)settlement within the European Union. This requires EU Member States to exchange information on their labour markets’ needs and to put in place a system for the early skills profiling of migrants to ensure suitable matching, with the aim of rationalising the distribution of humanitarian migrants across the EU.

For the detailed survey results and country examples, download Cedefop’s briefing note.

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Press Release Details

03/07/2017