USING, DEVELOPING, AND ACTIVATING THE SKILLS OF IMMIGRANTS AND THEIR CHILDREN

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1 USING, DEVELOPING, AND ACTIVATING THE SKILLS OF IMMIGRANTS AND THEIR CHILDREN 29 October 2015 Thomas Liebig International Migration Division Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD

2 About one person in five has a migration background Population share of immigrants and of native-born offspring of immigrants, around 2013 Percentage of the total population % 70 Immigrants (foreign-born) Native-born with at least one foreign-born parent Source: OECD/EU

3 Norway had high inflows of immigrants in recent years Permanent inflows to OECD and EU countries, and Annual averages in percentage of the total population 1, ,6 1,4 1,2 1,0 0,8 0,6 0,4 0,2 0,0 Source: OECD International Migration Database 3

4 predominantly from the enlarged EU Composition of permanent migration, by category (2012/13) Composition of permanent migration Total = 100 to the OECD area 2012/ % Free movement Work Family** Humanitarian/Other 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% * 2012 **incl. accompanying family of workers Source: OECD International Migration Database 4

5 Migrants category of entry is the most important determinant of outcomes for new arrivals, but there is some convergence over time Employment rate by immigrant category and duration of stay in European OECD countries, % International protection Work or study Family 75% 50% 25% 0% Duration of stay (years) Evidence from Norway shows that the average duration of 5-6 years can be significantly shortened if the economic climate is favourable and integration policy well-designed

6 Category of migration: the single most important determinant of outcomes An important factor for policy: only labour migrants are directly selected but category of migration is rarely considered in analyses of migrants outcomes. Migrants who came for work or study have higher qualification levels than family or humanitarian migrants, but still lower than the native-born. The returns to qualifications are higher for labour migrants (and for study migrants) than for the other two groups but still tend to be lower than for the native-born. 6

7 Migrants are often overrepresented at both ends of the educational spectrum Italy Spain Greece France Portugal Turkey Belgium EU total (28) Germany Netherlands Mexico Austria Iceland Sweden OECD total (33) Slovenia Denmark Korea Switzerland Finland United States Chile Luxembourg Norway Japan Ireland United Kingdom Australia Czech Republic New Zealand Israel* Hungary Slovak Rep. Canada Poland Estonia Native-born Percentage of low-educated Canada Israel* Ireland Luxembourg Australia United Kingdom New Zealand Poland Estonia Norway United States Mexico Switzerland OECD total (33) Denmark Sweden Japan Hungary Iceland Belgium Finland France Slovak Rep. Chile Korea EU total (28) Netherlands Portugal Czech Republic Spain Turkey Germany Austria Greece Slovenia Italy Foreign-born Percentage of highly educated Source: OECD/EU

8 Highly-educated migrants struggle more to enter the labour market than their native-born peers Employment rates of foreign-born population aged and not in education, by education level, Differences with native-born, in percentage points Low educated High educated Source: OECD/EU (2015). Cross-country differences for the low-educated are largely driven by differences in the composition by migration category (labour, family, humanitarian) 8

9 Possible explanations for immigrants lower labour market outcomes I. Issues related to the transferability of qualifications and skills acquired abroad II. Language skills III. Networks and knowledge about labour market functioning IV.Employers attitudes and discrimination 9

10 Host-country vs. foreign qualifications 2 out of 3 immigrants in Europe have foreign qualifications 40% of the foreign-born have qualifications from a non- EU/EFTA country For those with tertiary education, broad fields of study are remarkably similar both among the four immigrant groups EU/EFTA vs. non-eu/etfa, foreign vs. host-country education and compared with the native-born 10

11 The returns to foreign qualifications in terms of employment are lower than those to hostcountry education Employment rate by education level in Europe 0,4 0,3 0,2 0,1 0-0,1 ISCED 0-1 ISCED 2 ISCED 3-4 ISCED 5 ISCED 6 Native-born Host-country Education Foreign Education 11

12 ...and those to non-eu qualifications are lower than those to EU qualifications at all levels of education Employment rate by education level in Europe 0,4 0,3 0,2 0,1 0-0,1 ISCED 0-1 ISCED 2 ISCED 3-4 ISCED 5 ISCED 6 Native-born Foreign Education Foreign Education EU27 Foreign Education non-eu27 12

13 In Europe, the incidence of over-qualification among the employed tertiary-educated is much higher among immigrants Overqualification rates for tertiary-educated immigrants compared with native-born; by origin of qualifications Europe United States All foreign-born with host-country education with foreign education with EU education with non-eu education 13

14 Host-country language proficiency is an important determinant of outcomes The foreign-born who lack host-country language proficiency are a group with cumulative disadvantages (lower education levels, more likely to have foreign education and to be humanitarian migrants, etc.). But even after accounting for these, they face a 14%-point lower employment rate than other immigrants and an over-qualification rate that is on average 17%- points higher. For labour migrants without language problems, one observes no longer a higher incidence of overqualification. 14

15 Part of the difficulties migrants face are associated with lower language and literacy skills Mean literacy scores of immigrant and native-born persons by level of education, 2012 At best basic skills More than basic skills Source: OECD/EU (2015) 15

16 In Europe, disadvantage extends to the native-born children of immigrants % Youth (15-34) who are both low-educated and not in employment, education and training (NEET), by origin of parents, around 2013 Native-born offspring of native-born Youth with migrant background Even native-born youth with immigrant partnes with good qualifications continue to struggle

17 Possible explanations for lower labour market outcomes of immigrants and their children I. Issues related to the transferability of qualifications and skills acquired abroad II. Language skills III. Networks and knowledge about labour market functioning IV.Employers attitudes and discrimination 17

18 There is a high sentiment of discrimination among immigrant offspring in Europe Persons who consider themselves members of a group that is or has been discriminated against on the ground of ethnicity, nationality or race, selected OECD countries, As a percentage of all foreign-born/native-born with two foreign-born parents, persons aged and Foreign-born (15-64) Native-born with 2 foreign-born parents (15-34)

19 New challenges Increasing heterogeneity of immigration flows - both in terms of category (labour, family, free mobility, humanitarian) and skills levels within these categories - requires more tailor-made approaches For immigrants lacking basic skills, significant and long-term investment must be made without immediate pay-off Family migrants who do not depend on benefits are often neglected in integration measures, although they are a key group and the impact extends on their children 19

20 New challenges (cont.) EU nationals are often not eligible for targeted integration support, although they account for a large part of recent flows and many have settled Children of immigrants are entering the labour market in growing numbers, and their outcomes are often unfavourable Large and increasingly diverse inflows of humanitarian migrants including in terms of qualifications and origin - many of whom traumatized by the experience of war A growing number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the end of obligatory schooling 20

21 Integrating immigrants: a framework for policy options 21

22 Using immigrants skills: Recommendations Develop efficient and transparent procedures for foreign credential recognition and validation of competences, in co-operation with social partners Begin integration programmes with a validation of migrants qualifications and skills and raise awareness about the benefits of such measures Establish policy measures which bring immigrants in contact with employers and help them gain early work experience Make sure that immigrants benefit from effective mainstream active labour market policy instruments, including wage subsidies Encourage take-up of host-country citizenship Identify and remove barriers to employment in the public sector Tackle stereotypes and false perceptions about immigration, by disseminating facts-based evidence on migration issues 22

23 Developing skills of adult migrants: Recommendations Ensure that language training and introduction programmes prepare for labour market integration but do not delay it Focus on vocational language training, to be provided, if possible, on-the-job Equip all migrants with the basic skills to succeed in the labour market Provide more bridging offers for immigrants with foreign qualifications Make sure that immigrants are informed about the functioning of the host-country labour market Use mentorship to promote integration 23

24 Developing skills for immigrant youth: Recommendations Encourage participation of children of immigrants in early childhood education, starting at the age of three Encourage early family reunification if children are present Make sure that children arriving at the end of obligatory schooling are engaged in education or training Avoid concentration of children of low-educated immigrants in schools Inform children of immigrants and their parents about school choice 24

25 Activating immigrants skills: Recommendations Ensure that all permanent-type immigrants have full labour market access Place refugees where the jobs are not where cheap housing is available Implement tailor-made approaches for disadvantaged youth with an immigrant background, based on early identification of at-risk-populations Make sure that immigrant women have equal access to integration measures Link training for immigrant mothers with childcare opportunities Raise awareness for the issue of discrimination and take pro-active measures to tackle it Engage employers through diversity policies and monitor the outcomes 25

26 Conclusion: Integration as an investment The vast majority of the foreign-born and their offspring are in employment But much potential remains unused There is no silver bullet and no one-size in integration policy Effective policies do not necessarily come along with high costs to the public purse But some do and here integration must be viewed as an investment Early intervention (for new arrivals and for children) Pursue policies where the pay-off is not immediate (unemployed or inactive; women with children) Access to integration offers should depend on settlement prospects and needs 26

27 For further information on the OECD s work on the skills of immigrants:

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