Many of the refugees who have been arriving in Europe in the past two years got the legal title to stay and are now emerging in the labour markets. Various integration programmes to prepare them for employment are in place: vocational qualification assessment programmes, language courses, European value and integration courses, general labour market qualification, orientation and insertion programmes, informal counselling and support centres, refugee volunteering schemes, to list but some of the most common integration measures. die Berater is providing several programmes of this kind.

These programmes are no doubt needed and a pre-requisite to successful entering the European labour markets. But they are not enough. Many companies and organisations which are expected to employ refugee immigrants are reluctant to do so. According to the Austrian Employment Service (AMS) only 15% of those refugees who have arrived in Austria between 2015 and mid 2016 with a positive asylum decree have managed to find a job.

Not only need refugees be prepared and qualified, also their prospective employers need information, support and encouragement to employ refugees. The project REST, developed by die Berater together with partners from Germany, Greece, Italy and Bulgaria and funded by the European Union’s AMIF programme, will develop suitable training and counselling offers for employers in the next two year. The project has just started with a kick-off in Kassel, Germany.

It takes two to get refugees employed