Refugees struggling on Dutch labor market: Planning Office
It is difficult for recognized refugees to find paid work. Five years after getting a residence permit, 45 percent have a paid job. But this often consists of temporary or part-time jobs, according to a study by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP).
After five years in the Netherlands, paid work is the main source of income for only a quarter of refugees. The research office called refugees' position on the labor market "worrying". While a special policy was developed in 2015 to help those involved, many local projects have been completed. Due to the coronavirus, their labor participation did not increase in the past year, but even decreased.
Hurdles for refugees include trauma, language barriers and lack of a network. According to the researchers, it is good to focus on these, but there are also obstacles on the demand side. Institutions and employers must be sufficiently accessible and focus more on diversity and inclusion, according to the SCP.
Together with the RIVM and WODC, the SCP conducted research into the (living) situation of refugees who have been in the Netherlands since 2014. Then large numbers of asylum seekers came to Europe and the Netherlands, especially fleeing from war-torn Syria.
Early next year, a new integration law will be introduced. The researchers see positive sides in this, but they insist on good implementation, especially by municipalities. They also see room for improvement. For example, they want asylum seekers in shelters to be able to start working sooner and receive more (language) education. More attention should also be paid to their psychological well-being and they should be moved out of asylum centers sooner.
Reporting by ANP.