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The Labour Market Integration of Immigrants and their Children in Austria

The Labour Market Integration of Immigrants and their Children in Austria

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The Labour Market Integration of Immigrants and their Children in Austria

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  1. The Labour Market Integration of Immigrants and their Children in Austria Thomas Liebig & Karolin Krause International Migration Division Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs OECD Vienna, 24 November 2011

  2. The immigrantpopulation:relatively large and a favourable origin-country mix • 25% of the population in Austria have at least one foreign-born parent • The majority of immigrants have arrived after the fall of the Iron Curtain Composition of the immigrant population in Austria in 2009

  3. Overall labour market outcomes are close to the OECD average,in particular for men Employment-population ratio of immigrants and native-born, men aged 15-64, in Austria and selected other OECD countries, 2009

  4. The integration infrastructure in Austria:a rather complex and limited setting • Multitude of actors • No structured integration programme • Language training targets that are modest at best, with no link to the labour market • Lack of research and evaluation • Many small-scale, time-limited integration measures with multi-level financing • Separate work-permit system for (some) new arrivals • Recent improvements: • Facilitation of labour market access • Targeted training programmes to place immigrants in shortage occupations (example of good practice for other OECD-countries) • The whole against the backdrop of a rather flexible labour market with low unemployment and a strong role of the social partners.

  5. RecommendationsImprove the integration framework • Establish a structure for better experience-sharing and co-ordination of integration policy at the federal level. • Overcome the current deficit in research and evaluation. • Reduce the complexity of the work-permit system and abolish the remaining obstacles to the labour market access of permanent immigrants.

  6. Immigrant women from lower-income countries are disadvantaged, in particular recent arrivals Percentage-point difference in the employment rates of immigrants compared with the native-born for different immigrant groups in Austria, women aged 15-64, by duration of residence, 2008/2009 Small children in the household increase significantly the probability for women from lower-income countries to be far from the labour market

  7. RecommendationsStrengthen integration measures • Make sure that immigrant women who are far from the labour market are reached by integration measures. • Implement a structured integration programme for new arrivals, targeted at labour market integration, as implemented in the Nordic countries. • Extend the current programmes for skills- and vocation-specific language training and promote co-ordination of the existing programmes. • Seek to increase the participation of the children of immigrants in pre-school education at age 3 and 4, ideally in parallel with integration measures for their immigrant mothers.

  8. Many immigrants find their qualifications discountedbut recognition seems to help Percentage-point differences in the probability of being in highly-skilled employment for highly-educated persons aged 15-64 in Austria, foreign-born compared to native-born, 2008 Highest education from Austria Highest education from other higher-income country Highest education from lower-income country Less than a third of immigrants with foreign degrees applied for recognition.

  9. Recommendations Make better use of the skills of migrants • Make the possibilities for the recognition of foreign qualifications more widely known. • Enhance transparency of the recognition process, ideally by the implementation of one-stop shops. • Develop and implement tools for the accreditation of prior learning, in close co-operation with the social partners.

  10. Many children of immigrants are at the margin of the labour market Share of the low-educated who are neither in education nor in employment or training, among the native-born children of immigrants and the children of native-born, aged 20-29, Austria and selected other OECD-countries, around 2007

  11. The outcomes are particularly unfavourable for younger cohorts Percentage-point difference in employment-rates of the native-born children of immigrants, compared with the children of natives, for men aged 15-24 and 25-34, not in education, 2009/2010 Nevertheless, the gaps are smaller than for the parent generation.

  12. RecommendationsImprove education outcomes of children of immigrants • Provide language testing and associated extensive language support in pre-primary education for those in need. • Provide more structured German language training to the children of immigrants. • Re-consider the current focus on “mother-tongue education”. • Implement special measures for young immigrants who arrive at the end of obligatory schooling or just thereafter. • Make sure that restrictions regarding family migration do not hamper the integration process of the children of immigrants.

  13. RecommendationsImprove labour market outcomes of children of immigrants • Investigate the causes for the low outcomes of the 15-24 year old children of immigrants compared with their older peers, and take appropriate action. • Promote access to vocational colleges and apprenticeships for the children of immigrants. • Put more effort into increasing the employment prospects for the children of immigrants in the public sector, following the examples of the Netherlands, Norway and Belgium.

  14. Additional barriers to labour market integration?The issue of discrimination • (Statistical) discrimination in the labour market could explain persistent disadvantages faced even by immigrant offspring with good qualifications. • Testing studies from other OECD countries show that discrimination is more frequent than generally expected, but no such study has been conducted in Austria yet. • The topic of discrimination has received few public attention in Austria thus far. • The infrastructure to combat discrimination is weaker than in most other European OECD countries.

  15. RecommendationsStreamline and strengthen the framework for anti-discrimination • Make the anti-discrimination framework more visible to immigrants and inform them about their rights. • Conduct an experimental testing study to capture the incidence of discrimination in hiring, and communicate the findings widely. • Consider more pro-active measures and diversity tools to tackle discrimination: • e. g. Diversity Label (see France) • e. g. Diversity plans and counselling for small- and medium-sized enterprises (see Belgium)

  16. Thank you for your attention!