The overall aim of the project is to give a Nordic knowledge base on the role of employers in the process of integrating refugees and migrants in the labour market. The project will further highlight some promising examples of when the integration process has been successful.
Labour market participation is central in the integration process of refugees and migrants. Research shows that it is difficult for refugees and migrants to find jobs, especially for low-skilled, non-EU born and women. The labour market integration of people born outside the EU is on average about 17 percentage points lower than that of people born in the EU. The recent crises, the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, have not improved the situation.
At the same time, the Nordic countries are suffering from labour shortages and are trying to attract hands and brains from abroad. Successful integration of migrants in the labour market presents an opportunity for our societies.
Employers have an important role to play in integration. This project examines the status of this role in the Nordic countries, addressing the following questions: To what extent have companies, organisations and other employers hired people with an immigrant background? What are their experiences of the benefits and obstacles? To what extent is discrimination against immigrants widespread in the labour market and workplace? What can the governments and municipalities do to support companies in employing migrants?
To provide a reply to these questions, the project will be articulated in three main steps. A thorough literature review will explore benefits and challenges experienced by employers in the Nordic region in the integration process of migrants and refugees. Then, based on interviews with employers and competent authorities, the project will also present concrete examples of promising practices and policies to increase labour market integration. Finally, the project will provide a set of policy recommendations or a summarizing checklist for employers and policy makers.
The Nordic Council of Ministers has a vision of becoming a competitive and socially sustainable Nordic Region by 2030. This study is in line with the action plan’s objective of working in dialogue with labour market actors to bring about increased labour participation in the Nordic Region, primarily among vulnerable groups, including migrants and refugees.