European Towns Fostering Intercultural Dialogue and Combating Discrimination of Migrants and Minorities
We are proposing local and European policy recommendations in ten areas:
1- Skills transform lives and drive economies. Skilled migration is one of the policy levers available to governments to address workforce shortages in the economy. Increase possibilities for migrants to work in destination countries in order to mitigate labour shortages in the labour market.
2- Recognition and validation of qualifications and credentials gained overseas can facilitate the integration of skilled migrants. Ensure migrants with no documentation about their previous education or training receive a quick but precise assessment of their skills. Enrol those with relevant skills in the modularised and affordable training programme to gain the missing skills – ideally on the job.
3- While skilled migrants help fill skill gaps and labour shortages in destination countries, large-scale emigration also leads to concerns about potential ‘brain drain’ in origin countries supplying the human capital. The extended departure of educated and skilled individuals leaves countries shouldering a major fiscal burden, which in turn hits economic productivity and the development of important public services, including healthcare and education. Destination countries should cooperate with origin countries in “brain circulation”, increasing their productivity in high-skilled occupations, ensuring more opportunities for women, boosting connectivity through remittance and improving tertiary and post-graduate education in origin countries.
4- COVID-19 entry rules driving down labour migration and arose concerns about employment conditions and health protections of migrant workers as well as remittances trends. Migrant remittances provide an economic lifeline to poor households in many countries. Such a drop in migration inflows due to COVID-related restrictions result in a reduction in remittance flows, increase poverty and reduce households’ access to much‐needed health services. To prevent the pandemic from further aggravating the already precarious situation, it is important to include migrant workers in COVID-related health and recovery packages and services and loosen up COVID-related restrictions.
5- The use of technology, increased access to information, transparency and process efficiency transforms skilled migration. Provide migrants with sound and timely information about employment and skills development opportunities, and administrative guidance to hasten the process of integration.
6- Uncertainty on the supply of skilled workers is already a major barrier to innovation and growth. An open European labour market is, therefore, a prerequisite for the future performance capacity of Europe’s economy. EU labour market is most important for SMEs, but targeted hiring of non-EU nationals is picking up. Almost three-fourths of SMEs employ foreign workers. Supporting especially owners of small and medium enterprises in using the labour migration system and making the process more transparent will develop a better market.
7- Migrant workers’ inability to speak the destination country’s language is the reason why they are working below their qualifications or skills. Policies need to consider prioritising migrants with necessary language skills and increasing opportunities to learn a language abroad.
8- Better, connect international students with employers by promoting internships to increase retention rates after graduation. Devote significant attention to VET and work-based learning as it assists integration and demonstrably gives learners skills that employers want in real-world settings.
9- Build the capacity of all schools and civil society organizations to respond effectively to migration and avoid concentrating people with migrant backgrounds in disadvantaged suburbs.
10- While access to adequate housing has been recognised as a key indicator of integration, the process and prospects of accessing medium- and long-term housing across tenures received comparatively limited attention. There is a need for commitment and creativity of cities, housing providers and civil society at large in designing and providing a rich variety of housing tenures and solutions for migrants.
The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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