Deputy PM: Plan needed to get refugees into workforce

Asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean sea (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vito Manzari). (Asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean sea (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vito Manzari))

Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs wants measures to be taken to facilitate the entry of refugees into the Dutch labor market. He discussed his concerns with employers, trade unions and refugee organizations in a meeting at his ministry on Monday night.

A number of refugee organizations as well as employers' organization VNO-NCW, trade unions FNV CNV, the Social Economic Council and the Association of Dutch Municipalities attended the meeting, RTL Nieuws reports.

Employers called upon the government a month ago to aid with employment of refugees. Despite the high unemployment rate, many vacancies are difficult to fill. A number of the Syrian refugees are highly educated and VNO-NCW believe that they could fill those vacancies.

Many of the refugees are ending up on welfare due to a number of difficulties preventing residency permit holders from finding employment, barriers such as language and the recognition of diploma’s earned in their countries of origin.