Half of Ukrainian refugees in Netherlands have paid work
Update 11:50 a.m. - Article updated to add quotes from an InHolland University of Applied Sciences study showing that many Ukrainians are dissatisfied with their work in the Netherlands. New info in the bottom two paragraphs.
Half of the approximately 68,000 Ukrainian refugees who fled to the Netherlands since Russia invaded their home country had paid work on May 1, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported on Wednesday. They mainly worked for employment agencies or in the trade, transport, and hospitality sector.
On November 1 last year, 44 percent of Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands had paid work. Unlike other asylum seekers, Ukrainian refugees don’t need a work permit to join the Dutch labor market.
The proportion of working Ukrainian refugees is pretty equally distributed among men and women, with 51 percent of Ukrainian women and 49 percent of Ukrainian men having paid work in the Netherlands. All age groups are also well represented - 44 percent of young people aged 15 to 25, 55 percent of 25 to 45-year-olds, and 47 percent of 45 to 65-year-olds had paid work on May 1.
Most Ukrainian refugees worked as temporary workers (38 percent), on-call workers (28 percent), or had other temporary employment (31 percent). Only 18 percent worked full-time, 35 hours or more per week. Likely due to the large proportion of temporary workers, Ukrainian refugees changed employers relatively often. Of those who had paid work on July 1 last year and May 1 this year, 39 percent changed employers in the meantime.
The majority of Ukrainian refugees (51 percent) worked in the business services sector, which includes employment agencies. “It is often impossible to determine which sector temporary workers are deployed to,” CBS said. Many Ukrainian refugees (31 percent) also worked in the trade, transport, and hospitality sector.
A study by Inholland University of Applied Sciences among 903 Ukrainians showed that only 30 percent are satisfied with their work in the Netherlands. While 59 percent are dissatisfied with the opportunities to find work that matches their field of expertise and level of education. In practice, Ukrainians largely find work in low-skilled service professions. "But at least two-thirds of Ukrainians are highly educated," the researchers said.
A major obstacle for Ukrainians in the Dutch labor market is their inability to speak Dutch. Only 3 percent rated their Dutch language skills as good. They also cited insufficient access to good and affordable language training, childcare, and financial insecurity as obstacles. "The fact that the future of their legal status is uncertain also plays a role: Ukrainians experience that employers find this a reason to be reluctant," the researchers said.