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Enhancing Access to Employment and the sustainable Inclusion in the Labour Market
the Participation of Migrants in Employment
- Policy Forum Acting against Ethnic Discrimination in Employment
- Media platform to promote Cultural Diversity
- Outcomes from EQUAL European Thematic Group on Employability
examples of the work of DPs
- Overview: Thematic Clusters and Approaches
- Increasing Enrolment in Vocational Training
- Valuing Migrants' Competences and Acquired Skills
- Sensitisation and making Active Use of the Media
- New professional profiles: Mediation, Mentoring, Tutoring
- Mobilising Corporate Social Responsibility
- Promoting Non-biased Recruitment
- Offering Expertise and Support Services to Employers
- Mobilising action by Trade Unions
- Integrated Territorial Approaches
Immigrants and members of ethnic minorities continue to encounter manifold and persistent inequalities on the labour market. They are at a much higher risk of unemployment than EU-nationals, receive lower wages, and are significantly over-represented in the least desirable jobs. They face particular disadvantages in acquiring and updating professional skills and qualifications. Many stakeholders maintain that discrimination, while not being the only reason for the exclusion of ethnic minorities from the labour market, is in fact the most important one.
the framework of the ESF EQUAL Initiative, more than 350 Development
Partnerships (DPs) set out to pilot new approaches to prevent and
overcome discrimination against immigrants and ethnic minorities and
to facilitate their integration into employment. Their outcomes
provide a critical mass of experience to inform new ESF action and
many of their measures and methods can be replicated more widely.
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|Increasing the participation of migrants in employment|
This document summarises outcomes from EQUAL
Development Partnerships (DPs), transnational and national thematic
networks which have set out to overcome the barriers that hamper or
prevent equal participation of immigrants and ethnic minorities in
the labour market. It also includes annotated references to the EU
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In autumn 2006, the French EQUAL Managing Authority, working in close cooperation with Germany and Sweden, launched a European Platform to stimulate the mainstreaming of those outcomes from EQUAL that have proved successful in tackling racial discrimination in employment. The Paris Policy Forum "Acting against Ethnic Discrimination in Employment" (22-23 November 2007) was the culmination of a series of five transnational Peer Review Seminars initiated by this Platform. These were all geared to presenting and validating, at European level, strategic lessons from the experience of EQUAL DPs that had been operating in this particular thematic field.
|Context Note: An Urgent Need for more intensive EU Action to Combat Discrimination in the Labour Market|
|Recommendations for Action|
|Proceedings - Final Report|
|Acting Against Ethnic Discrimination-Policy Forum Report - Summary|
This Platform was initiated, in 2006, by the Swedish ESF Council, with support from Finland and Ireland, and involved a series of Exchange Seminars between EQUAL DPs and public service broadcasters from ten Member States. It brought together DPs from Finland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK with members of the Eurovision Intercultural & Diversity Group of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to develop a Diversity Toolkit for the Media, especially for use in television.
The Toolkit concentrates on the representation of ethnic and cultural minorities and especially their portrayal in news and current affairs programmes. It is mainly aimed at journalists and teachers and students of journalism but it also provides useful information for HR departments and the management of broadcasting organisations. In November 2007, the Toolkit was presented in Paris at an international conference on Integration and Diversity, organised by France Télévisions and UNESCO, and at the EQUAL conference on Acting against Ethnic Discrimination in Employment.
|The Cultural Diversity Toolkit|
|Launching the Platform: Diversity, the Offspring of a Media Marriage in Dublin (Feb 2007)|
|Finalising the Toolkit: Helping the Media to reflect a Much wider Audience (Oct 2007)|
ETG1 generated a number of documents on outcomes from EQUAL Round 1 that also informed further developments in Round 2. The documents that can be accessed through the links listed below are based on contributions from a working group which focused on Ethnic Minorities and Migrants.
EQUAL projects have developed new further education programmes that build on immigrants' existing qualifications and offer them new perspectives for employment and occupational advancement in jobs that require intercultural competences. Examples include new courses that prepared immigrants, who held a relevant qualification, for work as intercultural counsellors or mentors, or for setting up their own business.
In most EU Member States, the qualifications of third country immigrants are not formally recognised and because their potential is not perceived by employment intermediaries and the business world, many immigrants have to accept jobs which require a level of skills below the qualifications that they had originally obtained. EQUAL DPs have sought solutions to this problem by ensuring that employment and training intermediaries, relevant multipliers and immigrant workers are well informed about how to navigate through the complicated web of administrative regulations that hinder the recognition of qualifications. They have also piloted more flexible ways of ascertaining, profiling and validating immigrants' skills.
Dismantling preconceptions about ethnic origin and other characteristics that stand in the way of immigrants' integration and active participation in employment is both an economic and a social necessity and this stance has been central to EQUAL's approach to combating racism and xenophobia. The vocational, and also the social, integration of ethnic minorities can be greatly facilitated if public attitudes in the local community are broadly supportive of their needs and interests. A number of DPs had a special focus on investigating new means and techniques of creating a more positive climate by soliciting active support from the media and some of these projects were even initiated by the Media Industries.
|NL - Another type of Euro-vision - 2006|
|EL - Reaching out through Radio - 2007|
|FI - What a Colourful World! - 2007|
|HU - Roma-vision - 2007|
Many DPs strongly argued the case for the enhanced involvement of intercultural mediators and counsellors in the management of the integration process. They emphasised the pivotal role that mediators, "path-planners", mentors, tutors and "multipliers" could play in bridging the gap between the immigrant community and employers or public services and in providing individual guidance and follow-up for people who had various types of disadvantage. These new operators also worked as brokers who, on a one to one basis, linked individual needs to opportunities, matched people to jobs and provided continuing assistance for a period after the placement, both to the individuals and to their employers.
The debate on the concepts of "Responsible Entrepreneurship" and "Corporate Social Responsibility" (CSR) has gained momentum in recent years. This debate offers a new framework for harnessing CSR in favour of immigrants and minorities and for a constructive dialogue between employers, trade unions and the public sector on this issue. EQUAL DPs have demonstrated how this dialogue can be used to mobilise employers and trade unions to become involved in the integration of these disadvantaged groups. In a number of cases, they have also been the driving forces in developing and promoting formalised "codes of conduct" or "diversity charters" that seek to harness the development of Corporate Social Responsibility in favour of immigrant minorities, by articulating action against ethnic discrimination with the issue of CSR.
A number of DPs piloted new approaches to ensuring fair recruitment procedures. They advocated that, in order to prevent any discrimination, the selection criteria to be applied in recruitment should be exclusively based on a critical analysis of the tasks involved in each individual vacant job and of the skills and competences required for accomplishing them. DPs found that such objective recruitment methods helped to match employers' needs and applicants' abilities and also to dismantle pre-conceptions about alleged job requirements that could exclude candidates from immigrant or ethnic minorities.
The position of the social partners is vital in promoting "non-discriminatory" practices and EQUAL placed much emphasis on their involvement. In a number of EQUAL projects, large companies played a pivotal role in developing methods and tools for fair recruitment and in implementing diversity strategies. They also provided credible role models for other employers. However, progress was also made in mobilising small and medium sized enterprises which are often less concerned about diversity. EQUAL succeeded in soliciting support from many SME unions or associations and an important factor in this was the range of services that had been established by DPs to help SMEs to build up a diverse workforce to strengthen their business.
Much more than previous generations of Community Initiatives, the work of EQUAL also benefited from the active participation of Trade Unions in developing workplaces that were "welcoming" to people from immigrant and ethnic minority communities. Examples of DPs that had a strong involvement of trade union organisations illustrate how Trade Unions were able to induce change by sensitising shop stewards to discriminatory practices in the workplace and by initiating preventive measures. They introduced new forms of training for union representatives, piloted new mediation roles and services to facilitate the integration of migrant and ethnic minority workers and encouraged new active union membership of workers from ethnic minorities.
EQUAL experience demonstrates that local and regional authorities are particularly well placed to coordinate responses to the range of problems that can undermine the precarious employment situation of ethnic minorities, which includes language deficits, lack of recognised qualifications and housing problems and also entrenched prejudices and gaps in intercultural communication between the indigenous society and immigrant communities. Almost no other single group of actors has a greater capacity for leadership and for the coordination and pooling of resources in this field. DPs have shown how this capacity can be used to design initiatives that adopt an integrated approach and involve all relevant public and private actors in their implementation.
|CZ - POLIS-Local Action against Social Exclusion|
|DE - ALBuM-A Territorial Action Plan for Integrating Migrant Workers|
|ES - Equality in Diversity - A Network to foster Immigrants': Employment|