Final conclusions of the European project on employment of asylum seekers

The European project is publishing its conclusions on how employers, job-seeking asylum seekers and refugees can get in touch with each other more quickly and efficiently.

The Employer Tailored Chain Cooperation (EETC) project was backed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and aims to facilitate the employment of asylum seekers and refugees. The key aim of the project was to bring employers, supporting organisations and jobseekers into contact with each other better, faster and more efficiently. No less than seven EU Member States threw their weight behind the project.

The partner organisations from the seven Member States (Forem (Belgium), CCI WAPI (Belgium), COA (the Netherlands), ISIS (Germany), Pôle Emploi (France), IFOA (Italy), Manpower (Italy), ACH (United Kingdom), the Cyprus R Council (Cyprus) and Eurochambers (EU)) were trying to tackle the employment problem of asylum seekers in a structurally different way. These partners come from different fields: employers and employment organisations, reception and asylum & migration.

Final conclusions

The project ran for two years and the final conclusions with selected guidelines were presented last week during a digital conference. These guidelines were achieved after developing, testing and evaluating a number of tools, such as job fairs, a competence-screening tool and a training on work attitudes.

The guidelines are built around the four components in the employment chain (screening, gap bridging, matching and sustainability):

  • Screening the skills of asylum seekers and examining the needs of employers (e.g. bottleneck professions).
  • Bridging the gap between employers and job-seeking asylum seekers or refugees by raising employers' awareness about the importance of employment for this target group, including through specific training courses.
  • This is followed by matching supply & demand. For example, it was investigated how the different Member States can efficiently organise a job fair.
  • Finally, much attention is paid to sustainable employment. For instance, it was examined which support applicants for international protection need in order to continue working or how employers can find answers to their questions afterwards, e.g. about employment contracts.

Several guidelines were established for each component and these have been illustrated with a number of 'best practices' from different countries. Also, each guideline features specific actions for the different actors in the chain.

During the final conference, it was emphasised on numerous occasions how constructively the various project partners had collaborated throughout the project. The impact of COVID-19 on this project made physical meetings impossible and other solutions needed to be sought several times in order to test different tools. The project partners are pleased with the result: the report with the guidelines, the tools and ideas provides opportunities that can be implemented throughout Europe.

You can find the guidelines attached. The various tools are available on request via etcc@fedasil.be