Equal opportunities? The labour market Integration of the children of immigrants
The integration of the children of immigrants - both those born in the host country (the "second generation") and those who arrived young enough to be educated in the host country - is of growing policy relevance for OECD countries. This group is entering the labour market in ever larger numbers, and their outcomes are often seen as the benchmark for successful integration policy.
The labour market integration of the children of immigrants is an area where comparative international knowledge is gradually evolving, but still underdeveloped. Recent work by the OECD has shown that the children of immigrants tend to have lower employment outcomes than the children of natives in most countries.
This technical seminar proceedings sheds light on the issues involved in the labour market integration of the children of immigrants, and discusses policy answers and good practices. The seminar was organised jointly by the the EU Commission and the OECD Secretariat in Brussels on 1 and 2 October 2009.
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Joint EC/OECD seminar on the labour market integration of the children of immigrants
The labour market integration of the children of immigrants is an area where comparative international knowledge is gradually evolving but still underdeveloped. Recent work by the OECD and the EU Commission has shown that the children of immigrants tend to have lower employment outcomes than the children of natives in most countries. This is partly due to their lower educational attainment, but a substantial gap remains even when education levels are comparable.
To shed more light on the issues involved in the labour market integration of the children of immigrants, and to discuss possible policy solutions between researchers and policy makers, a joint technical seminar of the EU Commission and the OECD Secretariat has taken place in Brussels on 1 October (afternoon) and 2 October (all day). The seminar was attended by leading international experts and delegates from EU and OECD countries.
A series of OECD country reviews
Presentation of the project | Contents of the documents
Publication | Download the country studies | Seminar
OECD Report on the Labour market integration of immigrants and their children in Norway
The report is part of a series of country reports on the labour market integration of immigrants. It presents the situation in Norway in an international perspective and highlights and analyses Norway’s efforts to improve the labour market integration of immigrants and their children. It also contains a series of recommendations for promoting the labour market integration.
Read the Press Release.
Jobs for Immigrants, Volume 2: Labour market integration in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Portugal
The second volume of the publication Jobs for immigrants presents reviews of the labour market integration of immigrants and their children in four OECD countries (Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Portugal) and provides country-specific recommendations. It also contains a synthesis report.
Presentation of the project
The OECD has carried out country studies on the labour market integration of immigrants and their children (the second generation). In most countries under review, the factors affecting the labour market integration of immigrants and their children have been the object of extensive research. These include, among others, knowledge of the host-country language; familiarity with institutions and work and labour market practices; duration of stay in the host country; qualifications and their recognition; recourse to family or friends; initial labour market experience; discrimination, etc. The relative importance of each of these factors will vary according to immigrant characteristics and circumstances, national institutions and policies and labour market conditions. In some cases, governmental and non-governmental programmes and policies, properly designed, can enhance the facilitating factors and help offset those that impede integration.
The aim of this project is to:
examine what is being done, at national, regional and local level;
determine if programmes and policies in place are effective, in the light of the observed outcomes;
identify where policy efforts should be directed to best further the goal of labour market integration (language training, recognition of qualifications, job-search assistance, early labour market entry, etc);
identify best practices in each country, with a view to their adaptation and adoption between the countries, to improve and innovate current policies.
Contents of the documents
History of immigration
An overview of migration into the host country over the past decades, its particularities relative to other countries, the nature of the migration regime, the relative magnitude of the different types of migration.
Presentation of the key actors and overview of programmes aimed at facilitating the integration of immigrants into the labour market
Targeted programmes that address special immigrant needs, as well as regular programmes aimed at the general population, adapted for immigrants. The programmes and initiatives reviewed are those which prepare, orient or introduce the immigrant to the labour market.
Local initiatives or practices of special interest to identify particular areas or initiatives where there has been a significant positive impact on integration into the labour market of recent immigrants relative to the “average” national performance.
Diagnostic of the current situation in international comparison
Presentation of empirical results from the literature and analysis of country-specific data in international comparison, giving the current situation with respect to integration into the labour market and the relative strength of the various factors affecting the integration process with a particular focus on groups who appear to have problems (recent arrivals, low skilled migrants, immigrant women…). Outcomes of second generation (young native-born with foreign background) are presented when data is available for identification of this group.
For some countries, a longitudinal analysis of immigrant and second generation integration into the labour market has been possible. In this respect, some important factors for labour market integration have been highlighted, among which the initial labour market experience seems to be crucial.
Each review ends with a series of recommendations of best practices and suggested improvements and innovations for future integration policies.
Jobs for Immigrants, Volume 1: Labour market integration in Australia, Denmark, Germany and Sweden
The first volume of the publication Jobs for immigrants has been released in June 2007. This publication presents reviews of the labour market integration of immigrants and their children in four OECD countries (Australia, Denmark, Germany and Sweden) and provides country-specific recommendations. It is the first in a series which eventually cover some ten OECD countries. It also contains a synthesis report.
The country studies can be downloaded:
Download the document
Update on recent developments provided by the Australian Authorities
Download the document
Download the Press release: Denmark makes a great effort to tackle major integration task, says the OECD
Update on recent developments provided by the Danish Authorities
Download the document
Key findings on the whole publication and a special focus on Germany (in German)
Update on recent developments provided by the German Authorities
Download the document
Update on recent developments provided by the Swedish Authorities
A seminar on the integration of immigrants into the labour market, jointly organised by the Portuguese authorities and the OECD took place in Lisbon on 15 June 2007.