Given the large number of refugees that have recently made their way to Europe, a key challenge EU member states face is finding better and faster methods for integrating them into the labor market. That is true even in those countries that tend to be skeptical about accepting newcomers. While the Scandinavian nations have many years of experience helping refugees find employment, other countries are now doing more to introduce programs that can aid recent arrivals. Most countries, however, have only begun implementing the required integration strategies.
Those are the key findings from an international study that compares the strategies and policy measures for integrating refugees into labor markets in nine European countries (see box "About the study"). In addition to government policies, the team at the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute in Florence also examined community-level and nonprofit projects.
The study shows that in the last year almost all of the countries examined have either created new initiatives or expanded existing programs to include refugees. The study's authors identified 94 different programs in the nine countries. The most common offerings are language and orientation courses, measures for assessing occupational skills, and counseling and placement services. The funding required for these programs has in many cases also been significantly increased.