Immigration : humanitarian and economic challenge

Immigration is an humanitarian and economic challenge at the same time.“Among economic migrants to Germany in recent years, the share of highly qualified persons with for example a tertiary degree exceeded the respective share iin the native population (35% vs 20%), according to the Berlin Institute for Population and Development” Klaus Zimmerman Director of the Institute for the Study of Labor said  during the debate “ The economic integration of migrants and refugees” organized by the economic think tank Bruegel.

A refugee takes part in a workshop organized by the Arrivo Berlin initiative to receive new professional skills, in Berlin, Germany, December 17, 2015.
A refugee takes part in a workshop organized by the Arrivo Berlin initiative to receive new professional skills, in Berlin, Germany, December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

The number of migrants arrivals to Europe is quite small

According to UNHCR , in 2005 refugees were 37.5 million and the number has increased to 59.5 million in 2014. Mostly of them are still in developing and in neighboring countries.

The number of arrivals to Europe is in reality quite small. The data illustrated by Zimmerman and based on official data from German authorities show that refugees who actually made it to Germany this year are rather young. Only few are older than 40 years old and two-thirds of all refugees are men. Their origins are from Syria (20.3%), Kosovo (17.9%) , Albania (13.6%) , Serbia (6.3%), Iraq (5.2%), Afghanistan (5.0%).

In Germany, among humanitarian refugees long term employment probability is at about 55% which is lower than for economic migrants (75%), reports Zimmerman referring to data from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) of Germany’s Federal Labor Agency.

Migrants integration strategy

The most effective integration strategy into a new society for any new arrival is to get them a job as soon as possible, that’s why is important to know which competences refugees have and which languages they know to see where they could faster integrate” Klaus Zimmerman said “It is necessessary a long term strategy based on shared responsability, Germany cannot be the only one welcoming refugees  and facing these challenges. The refugees crisis is an European crisis, not a German crisis”. Sweden , that in the last weeks has been criticized with the choice to reinsert borders controls, has a clear integration to employment scheme. Since a few years, an introduction and integration to employment program is provided at local level. Specific Swedish language courses for different professions, a three weeks internship with a certificate of partecipation and competences and a recommendation letter for jobs.  “We try to give value also to informal competences. Sweden has been a migration country, years ago there were prejudices against Bosnian and Finnish people coming to our country, nowadays they are well integrated. Among doctors in Sweden 25% have origins from other countries” Joel Hellstrand Senior Policy Advisor, Swedish Employment Service.

While according with Reinhhilde Veugelers, Senior Fellow at Bruegel  there are no definite data on science trained Syrian refugees who arrive to Europe , but it is recognized they are generally well trained or they are ready to be trained. Regarding the timing of the hotspots , the new system to register migrants arrivals, Zimmerman is not really confident, even if he thinks they are necessessary “We have to accept that migrants who arrive to Italy and Greece cannot stay all there, it is essential to work on relocations”.

About fears on the rise of populism and euroscepticism based mainly on public opinion fear of migration Zimmerman said “We need to look for easier solutions on migrants quota and about countries who do not take part in the relocation. One of the main strategy is to support the information in African countries to economic migrants to make them aware that the life as illegal migrants is not easy at all and try to help them understanding that leaving is risky for their lives”. 

@IreneGiuntella

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