ARIVE - Accepted, Resettled, Integrated, Valued and Employed
A recent OECD paper ‘Making Integration Work’ (2016) states that “the earlier humanitarian
migrants (refugees, people with subsidiary protection or other protection status and resettled
refugees) enter the labour market, the better their integration prospects in the long run”.
International Monetary Fund confirms in its report from 2015 that “Investing one euro in
welcoming refugees can yield nearly two euros in economic benefits within 5 years”.
However, this group is particularly vulnerable and require targeted support at the beginning.
They generally arrive with weak, if any attachment or link to the host country and have gained qualifications and work experience in very different labour market conditions. On EU average, it takes between five and six years to integrate more than 50 % of humanitarian migrants into the workplace and as much as 15 years to reach a 70 % employment rate converging towards the outcomes for labour migrants (European Parliament).
Long periods of inactivity also lead to demotivation and deskilling;deskilling in turns means that they could only accept low-skilled jobs,remaining trapped in a low socioeconomic cycle. This impacts on their willingness and resilience to effectively commit to their integration. Moreover, low-skilled refugees are even more negatively affected than other migrants and they are left to find their own way in societies with high labour market threshold (European Council).
The corrective action of ARIVE will strive to tackle all major causes that prevent refugees’ integration to boost levels of integration in communities, namely:
- Lack of recognition of knowledge, competence and skills, including previous studies;
- Deskilling and social isolation;
- Lack of working experience in the host country and peer networks at a suitable professional/vocational level;
- Language and understanding of the civic and social landscape.
The general objective of the project is to develop quality learning opportunities in order to
encourage low-qualified and low-skilled humanitarian migrants to assess and up skill their
competences in order to enter the labour market at early stages.
This integration shall be facilitated taking into consideration the individual needs/capacities and labour market demand.
To this end the project will:
• facilitate the recognition of formal, non-formal and informal knowledge, competences and
skills of refugees/subsidiary protection holders/asylum seekers through the design and
implementation of a toolkit for integration skills assessment to enable signposting to suitable
peer support groups;
• transfer new qualifying skills to refugees/subsidiary protection holders/asylum seekers
through tailored courses that meet their specific learning needs and characteristics, in
particular the language and digital skills;
• provide refugees/subsidiary protection holders/asylum seekers with hands-on experience
through the creation and implementation of work-based laboratories facilitated by refugee
The target group of ARIVE will be refugees/subsidiary protection holders / asylum seekers recently arrived to Europe. The project will address mostly (but not exclusively) low-skilled refugees. Female migrants will be given special consideration, integrating a gender approach in the design and implementation of project’s products. Although the beneficiaries of the action are constituted by humanitarian migrants only, the project’s products will be applicable to other kinds of migrants as well.
The so-called “refugee crisis” is a phenomenon that is involving Europe as a whole, therefore, any action addressing this phenomenon should be carried out transnationally. Moreover, when they are granted protection, refugees often move to other countries and it is useful to have common tools and procedures for refugees’ skills assessment and training methodologies. The action is in line with the recommendations of the international community. In its “Note on the integration of refugees in the European Union” (2007), UNCHR states that host communities should facilitate the development of refugees’ language and vocational skills and assist them in pursuing employment.
Similarly, recently OECD (2016) called for
a) facilitating labour market access for refugees;
b) recording and assessing humanitarian migrants’ foreign qualifications, work experience and skills;
c) developing tailor-made integration approaches.