On 23 May 2017 the Commission launched the initiative Employers together for integration at the occasion of the second meeting of the European Dialogue on Skills and Migration to give visibility to what employers are doing to support the integration of refugees and other migrants into the labour market.
Employers can join this initiative by describing their current and future actions to support the integration of refugees and other migrants in their workforce and beyond. If you are providing apprenticeships for migrants and refugees, you can also join the European Alliance for Apprenticeships.
The successful integration of third-country nationals in the EU labour market represents an opportunity for our societies. When effectively integrated they can help improve the functioning and performance of the labour market, as well as support fiscal sustainability. In this process, the role of economic and social partners, and in particular of employers, is crucial. Several initiatives have been initiated by employers, trade unions, chambers of commerce in many member states.
The European Social fund is the main funding instrument supporting labour market inclusion, including of migrants. The Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) can also provide funding for preparatory measures to access the labour market.
We, as employers, are willing to support the integration of refugees and other legal migrants, contributing to making Europe a place where a different origin or nationality does not impact or limit opportunities and participation.
In order to remain competitive in the global market, and in view of its demographic declining trends, more than ever Europe needs the right skills and competences for its labour market and economy to flourish. The skills, talents and competences of refugees and other legal migrants should not be wasted. When effectively integrated into the labour market, they can help meet the growing needs for skills across various sectors in EU Member States and make the European economy stronger.
While public policies and actors play a key role in facilitating the integration process, employers, including large companies, SMEs and public employers, can make an essential contribution in facilitating the integration of refugees and other legal migrants into the labour market and beyond. Offering opportunities, valuing and further developing skills and competences and facilitating the creation of an inclusive workplace are only some of the areas where employers can take action to make integration a reality. Several efforts were made over recent years across Europe to support refugees' labour market integration and many employers are already engaged in this field. Now is the moment to build on these, create synergies, multiply and scale-up actions.
As Deutsche Telekom, we commit to the following concrete actions:
Offering refugees concrete opportunities to enter the labour market through
Supporting refugees in developing their skills to enter and remain in the labour market through
Create an environment that promotes inclusion, both in the workplace and beyond through
Download the contribution of Deutsche Telekom.
As Scandic Hotels, we commit to the following concrete actions:
As Adecco Group, we commit to the following concrete actions:
Download the contribution from the Adecco Group.
As Hanken & SSE Executive Education, we commit to the following concrete action:
Implement an executive education program for educated refugees. A pilot took place in 2016, the second round is ongoing in 2017 - 40 participants in 2016, 32 in 2017. The program consists of training, online-learning, an internship in a Finnish company and mentoring.
More information from Hanken & SSE Executive Education:
Kraftringen Energi AB offers internship and professional competence assessment for refugees/migrants with background in the energy sector.
During autumn 2015, Kraftringen was involved in the launch of Commitment Skåne – a collaborative forum for the Swedish Public Employment Service and companies in Lund, Sweden. The purpose of the collaboration is to create a sustainable and efficient work with regard to newly arrived talents in Skåne. The aim is to shorten lead times for entering the Swedish labour market and therefore also working actively and smartly with competence and resource planning.
The energy industry is facing a major need to recruit experts with all types of industry experience. Kraftringen is contributing with a English-Swedish-Arabic phrase book containing some of the words and terms used in the energy industry. The phrase book is aimed at facilitating the introduction of employees with a background in the Middle East.
The phrase book has been produced by Basel Taleb, an energy engineer from the Hama province in Syria who was our first intern in 2016/2017. During Basel's training with us at Kraftringen, he found the industry’s specialist terminology challenging, despite his good knowledge of Swedish and previous professional experience. We therefore asked Basel to help us create a English-Swedish-Arabic phrase book, with some of the key words and terms necessary for working in the Swedish energy industry. The phrase book is one of Kraftringen’s contributions towards facilitating integration of newly arrived employees.
UNHCR, The UN's Refugee Agency has written about Basel Taleb and our Energy Pharese book.
The Cisco Networking Academy program is a non-profit partner initiative. Cisco started the public-private-partnership program 20 years ago. The first education institutions joined the program 1997 in the U.S. Institutions in Europe were following one year later. Today the program has active partnerships in all European member states.
With the Cisco Networking Academy Program the networking company provides e-learning content free of charge to improve digital skills among youngsters and for adults (employees). The content is covering a large variety of IT technology fields: networking, operating systems (LINUX), cybersecurity, Internet of Things, programming and Smart Grid. as a global platform the NetAcad content is provided in a large variety of languages including many official European languages and Arabic.
This was a good starting point to be combined with some additional efforts and investments to support refugees with labor market integration. Over the last 12 months (2016 and 2017) Cisco has delivered or is working on the following activities with a focus on the German market:
So far we have trained more then 1,250 additional individuals in Germany that belong to the gorup of refugees. Several partnerships with local initiatives have been established. Among them with ReDI School, AsylPlus, CodeDoor and other local initiatives. The first group of refugees with IT skills has been trained as instructors and starts teaching as volunteers and as a job. So far 9 refugee interns have joined Cisco Germany.
More information from CISCO:
With 18.500 staff, NCC is a large building company active in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
In the future, NCC will continue to offer various labour market training programs that combine different forms practical studies and theory depending on the target group for the training program.
NCC aims to attract, develop and retain a workforce that represents and reflects the society we operate in. We are committed to develop our business also by renewing our ways of viewing competence and by acknowledging a broader perspective on individual differences.
Diversity in teams enables dynamic and creative work environment, which promotes employee satisfaction and long term profitable business. Having a diverse workforce therefore supports NCC´s goal to create value for customers and other stakeholders.
As ManpowerGroup, we commit to the following concrete actions:
As SAP SE, we commit to the following concrete actions:
In the current situation, all companies must step up to the mark in addressing the refugee crisis. Financial assistance, inclusive educational measures and appropriate IT solutions will play an important role. We see it as our responsibility to make a key contribution in all three areas.
Our goal is to offer refugees with a university degree or similar qualifications and experience the opportunity to take part in training and recruitment programs. The interns may use their internship to enable knowledge transfer and enlarge their professional experience. They may also use their internship to check internal job offers and to build up their network within the company. Their mangers and buddies support them with this. Providing access to training opportunities, job prospects, and language training is vital to successful integration and is the only way of giving refugees the chance of a secure and prosperous future.
As Bonanza Coffee Roastery, we commit to the following concrete actions:
We worked together with “Sharehaus Refugio” in Berlin to promote the integration of Syrian refugees. Located in Berlin's center “Sharehaus Refugio” offers housing for students, locals and refugees with shared kitchens and social spaces. The idea is to live under one roof, to get to know each other and involve refugees into society. Among others “Sharehaus Refugio” runs a café. We are their coffee supplier and noticed that some young refugees were interested in learning more about coffee. We trained these young refugees to become professional baristas. We know from our wholesale customers that there is a demand for baristas. Therefore, we saw it as an opportunity to help create jobs for refugees, foster their self-confidence and integration.
As Quanta, we commit to the following concrete actions:
The name of the project alludes to the Greek Anabasis, the ‘March of the Ten Thousand’ narrated by Xenophon; the Greek word literally means ‘ascent’, and refers to the journey of a group travelling from the coast inland. A ‘trek’, as Enzo Mattina anticipated, seen as arduous and difficult, but also as full of promise and expectation of a better life.
The word thus seems exactly suited to describe the long and difficult journey by sea which the migrants have made in order to begin their ‘ascent’ at last. But at the same time it describes the long and difficult path of active employment support conceived and developed by Quanta with the various partners involved to assist this ascent and create better chances of fulfilling the promise of a better life.
Taking as its starting point the needs for professional skills that are not currently being met by our compatriots, the journey was structured to help authorised migrants to demonstrate their merits by taking the ‘four more steps’ needed to obtain qualifications and thus real opportunities for integration into the world of employment and into Italian society.
All applicants with valid documents making them eligible for employment and holding the certificates demonstrating the minimum language skills required (at least level A2 - where this was lacking, language training was organised to enable such applicants to be certified at the required level) were started off on training courses on the rights and obligations of workers and the rights and obligations of EU citizens, organised, provided and certified thanks to the active contribution of the social partners.
Thus the first step is to understand Italian so as to be able to understand and absorb our laws, lifestyles, rights and obligations.
All those who successfully completed their preparatory training, with certificates of attendance at the courses on rights and obligations, were formally taken on for active employment support schemes, by signing them up to service arrangements designed to guarantee them access to financing for the placement of less advantaged groups, and attended group and targeted guidance sessions provided by expert mediators and certified advisers registered with Formatemp through Quanta and Quanta Human Resources. After the guidance sessions they also took part in skills auditing, which was a necessary and effective way to identify the vocational training courses most suitable for obtaining qualifications. The second step helps to give participants a clear idea of the way ahead and the work they will undertake, giving them responsibility for their own futures, and is also necessary to direct students towards any relief, grants and/or tax benefits available for disadvantaged groups (in this specific case, the placement bonus offered by the Forma.Temp Fund).
Following the preparatory training, guidance sessions and skills audits, applicants were placed in vocational training leading to qualifications. The very practically oriented courses were designed by Quanta Human Resources with Cnos-FAP and client companies in response to the particular needs noted by Quanta in the shipbuilding sector, for which it is notoriously difficult to find employees with the necessary specific skills among our compatriots. The training was designed to transfer not only the ‘hard’ (certified) skills typical of the type of work and the profile envisaged for those completing the courses, but also to provide training on horizontal skills, with modules dedicated to basic compulsory safety awareness and specific risks, with another module on safety in confined spaces, compulsory for workers in the shipbuilding sector. Completing the third step means acquiring the theoretical and practical skills and the certifications and permits that will help to obtain a specific vocational qualification. It also means that in compliance with the State-Regions agreement on safety, certificates can be issued showing attendance at the compulsory training on the basic module and on the specific risk module (confined spaces), which makes attendees immediately employable by a firm without any further burden or obligation on the employer/user.
After the vocational training has been completed, the practical exam for certifying the skills acquired has been passed, and eligibility has been conferred (issue of permit/qualification), the professional profiles of the participants are entered in the vocational skills books (with details of incentives for recruitment) used by Quanta for the employment assistance phase and in order to present profiles to the market (to target clients and firms).
Presenting these profiles in appropriate form, along with associated tax solutions and benefits linked to active employment support measures (or which can be matched to how the person is employed: through an agency or directly) produced results exceeding expectations in terms of placement. The fourth step allows candidates to acquire a structured, up-to-date CV which, most importantly, they can submit and use in the European labour market, in their own right and otherwise. This is thus the step most closely relevant to the distinctive role played by of the employment agency, which undertakes the task of facilitating the meeting of supply and demand for employment and managing workers, seconding them to user companies in full compliance with the remuneration and legal conditions provided for in the collective agreements and protected by law. The role performed here by the employment agency, which takes on the migrant on behalf of one or more users, seems to inspire employers with greater confidence that they will not be burdened with a series of administrative/bureaucratic or management problems associated with this very particular category of workers, while the additional financial/tax benefits linked to the employment measures that the agency can provide with projects like Anàbasi give businesses a further incentive to take advantage of these opportunities and offer migrant job-seekers a real chance to work.
The mediating role of an employment agency makes it possible at the same time to assist job-seekers in their quest and the companies concerned when they employ them, throughout every phase of the project, for as long as it lasts and beyond (as will be better described below).
Before job-seekers are actually employed, the agency performs the following tasks for potential employers: it seeks and selects candidates, carries out documentary and medical checks, makes sure that companies do not have to deal with any red tape upon recruitment, and ensures that candidates have completed their civic integration training, training on rights and obligations, compulsory safety training and certified vocational training designed to meet the specific needs that can be matched to each client.
In the post-recruitment phase, thanks to the role played by the agency, firms are not burdened by administration, managing pay slips, disputes, sickness management, etc., are not required to provide training, and instead benefit from the reduced costs associated with the bonuses and tax benefits enjoyed (which would not be available otherwise).
The results of the Anàbasi project can be easily shown in the placement figures recorded just after it concluded on 14 September 2017. Of 80 migrants who began this journey of ‘ascent’, 63 finished it with merit (during the 20 months of the project 13 people abandoned the courses and 4 did not pass the aptitude tests). Approximately 79 % of participants thus concluded the cycle with merit and obtained a vocational qualification. All those with suitable profiles (63) found employment (57 through an agency and 6 recruited directly), meaning that the project registered a final placement score of 100 %.
As Ben & Jerry's, we commit to the following concrete actions:
In 2017, Ben & Jerry’s teamed up with the Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN) to launch a refugee entrepreneurship project called the Ice (Ice Cream Entrepreneurs) Academy with 8 entrepreneurs who arrived as refugees in the UK. The programme combines a 4-month business incubator with part time employment through our Ben & Jerry’s sales channels. The goal of the programme is to provide aspiring entrepreneurs who arrived as refugees with the skills and knowledge to be able to develop and test their business idea before committing to launch a full-scale business.
The programme has 2 distinct but complementary elements:
As Accent, we commit to the following concrete actions:
In some Member States, national initiatives have been launched to support the efforts that employers have taken to integrate refugees and other migrants into the labour market. On the websites of the initiatives, you will find a number of good-practices and examples.
The NETZWERK has the goal to support companies in integrating refugees into their operations. Small and medium-sized companies without a large HR department in particular can benefit from the expertise and contacts of NETZWERK. The NETZWERK provides compact and practice-oriented information on the website as well as with publications and infographics. In monthly webinars, the members get first-hand expert knowledge. There are also nationwide events and workshops. The membership is free of charge. The NETZWERK was initiated by the The Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK). The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the DIHK are financing it. The NETZWERK has around 1,750 members nationwide.
The idea for "We Together" emerged in 2015 from the dialogue between leading representatives of the German economy. The network was founded in February 2016 by 36 initiators, all of whom had already been active with projects for refugees at that time. The network grew fast and has now 226 members. The joint platform "www.wir-zusammen.de" offers not only transparency and orientation, but also examples of successfully established projects. It also inspires other companies to work together with their workforces for the integration of refugees. More information on the network can be found in this presentation (PDF).
Recognizing the potential of the private sector’s active involvement in the realization of an effective inclusion of refugees in the Italian society, starting from 2017 UNHCR awards a label to companies that most distinguish themselves in promoting the labour placement of refugees and in supporting their integration process in Italy.
Awarded companies are given the “Welcome. Working for Refugee Integration” logo, which they are allowed to use for communication purposes. The logo is awarded on a yearly basis according to the unquestionable assessment of a Committee specifically formed by professionals coming from different backgrounds and that are dealing in different ways with the social responsibility within the private sector. Here you can find the award winners of 2017 (PDF).
Bridges Programmes offers internships and work placements. We facilitate work placements across a number of employers (around 150) in a variety of sectors. We promote the recruitment of refugees and migrants by providing support for skills recognition, application support, CVs and mock interviews. We support partner organisations to understand the skills of migrants and refugees and the opportunities they bring and promote anti-discrimination in the workplace. We support sector-specific vocational ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). We provide a mentoring service. We train trainers in our own organisation and in other stakeholders to understand the needs and barriers refugees and migrants can face. We promote volunteering.
C.I.R.S.I provides language training, skills and competence assessment, on the job trainings and post-placement support. We also promote intercultural dialogue at the workplace, exchanges between workers with and without migrant background, volunteering and non-discrimination.
Iiliaktida supports the access to vocational training and internships and offer Greek and English language training as well as skills training. We promote intercultural dialogue at the workplace and tackle discrimination, favour exchanges between locals and migrants and promote volunteering.
Associazione di Promozione Sociale Cambalache promotes professional training and inclusion of refugees in the agricultural and beekeeping labour market through a project named "Bee My Job".
UNITEE offers apprenticeships and internships, supports integration with skills and competence assessment and is involved in mentoring and coaching programs. UNITEE also signed the Diversity Charter.