Labour market integration of refugees and asylum seekers


EUROCITIES has conducted research on the integration of refugees and asylum seekers in the labour market at local level. The report is based on the findings from 19 cities from 12 EU member states.

The report explores the inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers into the labour market as a key factor of integration at local level. It presents the work of cities through governance and strategy, cooperation with social partners, and local level labour policies. The study also highlights the main challenges cities face during the integration process and illustrates good practices at local level.  

The key findings are:

  • Cities contribute to the effective integration of migrants and refugees in the labour market by having direct, shared responsibility or by providing complementary services;
  • Cities take a cross-sectoral approach for refugee and asylum seekers’ integration and participation in the labour market;
  • Cites develop social inclusion and labour market integration policies, which offer both general assistance and tailored services to cater for the specific needs of refugees;
  • Cites address the integration of refugees and asylum seekers in the labour market through both horizontal and vertical forms of coordination, to ensures a greater coordination and dialogue among public authorities, social partners and civil society organisations;
  • Cities changed the policy approach at local level from ‘integrate first, work later’ to ‘integration through work’ and made efforts to create a positive environment for refugees and asylum seekers to integrate in the local labour market.

The key challenges identified at local level are:

  • Lack of language skills;
  • Lack of education, skills and professional experience;
  • Uncertain legal status;
  • Long and complex administrative procedures to grant legal status or a work permit;
  • Recognition and validation of credits, certificates and degrees.

Cities have put forward a set of seven recommendations to regional, national and EU institutions, in order to ensure the effective integration of refugees and asylum seekers in the labour market.

Read the full report here:

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