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The Euroguidance Network

April 2011

In this edition:

Guidance in the context of migration

According to Thomas Liebig from OECD, the category of migration is the most important predictor of employment. Liebig gave a presentation at the conference “Guidance in the Context of Migration”, which was organized by Euroguidance Austria in November 2010.

The conference was dedicated to the question of qualification and competences of native-born and foreign-born immigrants and the role of guidance in labour market integration.130 members of various institutes came to Vienna to participate in the conference, consisting of plenary speeches, six parallel workshops and an exhibition.

Thomas Liebig photoThomas Liebig from International Migration Division at the OECD Directorate for Employment Labour and Social Affairs in Paris highlighted the preliminary findings of the OECD’s country reviews:

  • The labour market outcomes of immigrants are below those of the native-born. Immigrant women are particularly disadvantaged. The category of migration (labour, family, humanitarian) is the most important predictor of labour market outcomes.
  • Immigrants are disproportionately affected by the overall economic conditions and arrival just prior or during a downturn can have long-term adverse consequences.
  • Many immigrants have a very low educational attainment and those who have qualifications find them often discounted on the labour market. Accreditation of prior learning would seem to be disproportionately advantageous for immigrants, but they rarely benefit from it.  
  • Low-qualified migrants are often relatively well integrated into the labour market but the integration of their children tends to be a challenge. Early intervention provides the best payoff. The “second generation” is the best measure of the long-term success of integration policy. 
  • Many vacancies are filled by personal contacts, and immigrants and their offspring tend to have fewer of these. Persons with an immigrant background also tend to lack knowledge about labour market functioning.
  • Mentoring programmes and programmes which enable employers to see what immigrants can do on the job are often very effective. 
  • Discrimination is an important obstacle to access to employment. The public sector can be a motor for integration through its hiring choices.
Eva Baloch-Kaloianov
Euroguidance Austria

Further information:

Information about the conference on Euroguidance Austria website

OECD work on the Labour Market Integration of Immigrants and their Children