Brussels – Refugees resettling to the European Union (EU) bring diverse skills, and the majority want to find work and improve their language skills, according to a new report launched today (12/07) in Brussels at the closing event of an International Organization for Migration (IOM) project, to improve the integration of resettled refugees.
Launched in 2018, the project Linking Pre-departure and Post-arrival Support to Facilitate the Socio-economic Integration for Resettled Refugees in the EU (or ‘LINK IT’) was an innovative multi-country initiative that ran over 18 months to provide resettled refugees with the building blocks to start their new life in Europe.
“Social and economic integration, especially with regard to skills profiling, begins even before leaving for the country of resettlement, and the refugees themselves play an essential role in the process”, said Geertrui Lanneau, Senior Regional Labour Migration and Human Development Specialist for IOM’s Regional Office in Brussels.
Collecting data for more than 1,000 Syrian refugees, the LINK IT skills profiling tool collected information on education history, work experience, personal skills, digital skills, lingual abilities, aspirations, and other relevant health/caring considerations.
At the closing event, project partners, national authorities, and representatives from EU and international agencies shared best practices and presented findings from the project report.
“For years, refugees have told us that the language barrier and a lack of skills recognition were two of the most common barriers to labour market integration,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM UK Chief of Mission. “In the LINK IT project, IOM analysed self-reported skills and qualifications by refugees to have a better understanding of who is resettling. This can help governments improve policies and the support for refugees to successfully enter the job market and contribute to the economy.”
Funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), the LINK IT project aimed to improve social and economic integration by linking pre-departure support for Syrian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey with post-arrival support when resettling in four European countries (Germany, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom). This included the development and piloting of a pre-departure skills profiling tool, tailored post-arrival support and products for resettled refugees and information sessions for receiving host communities.
Project partners were the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), the British Refugee Council (RC), Asociatia Serviciul Iezuitilor Pentru Refugiatii Din Romania (JRS Romania), Caritasverband Fur Die Diozese Hildesheim E.V (Caritas Friedland) and Conselho Português Para Os Refugiados CPR (CPR).
“Through LINK IT, we’ve been able to collaborate across four countries, each with quite different experiences in resettlement,” said Petra Hueck, Head of ICMC Europe. “Still, many of the challenges – for both refugees and host communities – are similar when it comes to linking pre-departure and post-arrival phases, preparing host communities, labour market intervention, and so on. Through this project, we’ve been able to develop tools and interventions that address some of those key challenges,” she concluded.
For further information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM UK, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7811 6060, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org