Over 40% of Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands now employed: Report
Figures from the Dutch government show that over 74,500 Ukrainian people have fled the war in their home country, and now reside in the Netherlands. The figure rose by about 5,000 in each of the past two months. Over 40 percent of Ukrainian refugees who arrived since the war began have found employment in the country, benefits agency UWV told BNR.
Over 31,000 of them took positions in the hospitality industry, agriculture sector, or in a horticulture organization. "We assumed a much lower number," said Liesbeth van Amersfoort from the UWV in an interview with the news outlet. The agency said there is still a great deal of demand for temporary workers, seasonal workers, and long-term employees.
It can take about five and a half years to reach labor participation of over 40 percent among those who take benefits, BNR reported based on an analysis from Statistics Netherlands. However, European work permit rules were adjusted for Ukrainian refugees, meaning they do not have to complete the process of seeking asylum to enter the workforce.
“The adjustment of the rules has had a positive effect, and we must learn from that,” said Thijs Reuten, a MEP representing the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA). “Very promising refugees who are still in an asylum procedure should be admitted more quickly to the labor market.” He went on to say that it leads to people earning fair wages, and becoming a part of Dutch society, while reduces the need to make special allocations for them for social services, like housing.
Reuten said that the lessons learned from the high employability rate of Ukrainian refugees can also have a positive effect if coordinated at a European Union level. This includes setting up legal routes into Europe, to prevent people from attempting risky and dangerous ways of entering the European Union, such as by boat, he said.