Why is it imperative to tackle the issue of insufficient labor market information?
Migrants often struggle to access work that makes full use of their skills and qualifications, which is dispiriting for the individual and an inefficiency for all of our economies. In addition, lack of Labor Market Information (LMI) makes it hard for a PES to create a migrant integration support strategy. How can labor market specialists find the answer to this global problem?
The first point to consider is that asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants each require different types of support to integrate into a new job market. Consequently, the barriers they face when trying to join are often completely different. Currently, they are often treated as a homogenous group.
Spatial context in migrant job search
Another point that is often missed is the spatial context. The location of migrants is a significant variable in the success of re-integration journeys. However, most migrants’ integration programs are conceived at a national level but need to be successfully implemented at a regional level.
Since labor market integration takes place locally, regionalized data is important to understanding typical challenges such as skills deficits, educational attainment and discrimination. It can also highlight other labor market disadvantages such as the recognition of equivalent qualifications from other countries, alongside gender, age and disability.
Lack of migrant integration data
Clearly, good Labor Market Information (LMI) is essential to every PES as they identify vulnerable groups and then assess the type of support they must provide to them. Unfortunately, there is currently a lack of sub-national data on the success of the implementation of national measures to support migrant integration in the labor market. It’s also difficult to find statistical information that differentiates between groups of migrants.
Upskilling for a future career
Once skills gaps have been identified, short-term courses can drastically improve a jobseeker’s chance of securing an alternative career. Learning within a short space of time, or even on the job, can produce great results for both the jobseeker and employer. Its intensive nature allows for questions and immediate feedback that allow the learner to progress through stages fast and see their learning put into practice.
According to a recent survey, 82% of employees and 62% of HR directors believe workers will need to reskill at least once a year in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the global labor market. – Citrix
Why must the LMI problem be addressed urgently?
Right now, the lack of accurate LMI data is making it hard for a PES to create a migrant integration support strategy. If the different types of migrant client groups can’t be identified, then this prevents them being referred to the best fit support programs and consequently also limits a PES’ future ability to analyze whether these efforts are producing results.
2020 research from leading migrant inclusion academics has proved that national level migrant employment integration policies aren’t related to the employment rate gap between migrants and country nationals in rural regions. In competitive and diverse urban regions, they are linked to a wider employment rate gap between the two groups. This has led to a situation where, for example, in most EU countries, non-EU nationals have a higher unemployment rate than country nationals.
However, a shift towards more inclusive policies should reduce this gap and could be the solution to a widening divide between country nationals and migrants. This is called Labor Market Disadvantage and can be attributed to the following factors:
- Highest level of education
- Language skills
- Reason for migration
- Age at migration
- Socio demographic attributes
When a PES doesn’t hold this data for an individual, the chances of them being referred to an appropriate support program is much lower, with little chance of a positive outcome.
The solution? Better data and insight
The key to overcoming these challenges is a highly accurate and accessible labor market information system that holds specific, targeted data. A robust system enables regular, systematic reviews of each PES’ Labor Market Information. This highlights any missing data and problems that need to be resolved in order to improve matching and optimize support.
The way forward now to improve migrants’ integration into local job markets requires more detailed categorization of their backgrounds and characteristics that illuminates their potential and the skills and knowledge they offer each labor market.
To find out more about WCC’s Employment Solution, visit https://www.wcc-group.com/employment/.
Check out also this previous blog on the impact of Climate Change Migration.
Article by: WCC Community