The refugee crisis presents the EU with a big challenge. Especially Germany and Austria have to cope with it. In September 163,772 new refugees have been registered.
Curse or Blessing for the labor market? The Balkaninvest-Team starts with this post a series of blogposts on this hot toppic!
Differences in the refugee process between Austria and Germany
Refugees in Austria have three month after acceptance for asylum procedure access to independent and dependent work. They are offered time-limited work permits for the following areas:
- Seasonal or harvest work
- Working as journalist, artist, sports teacher or language trainer
- Charitable work
- EUR 100/month additional earnings
- (holiday) internship
- Voluntary work
Once they are granted asylum they are coequal to Austrians except for the voting rights and have free access to the employment and apprenticeship market. Refuges who are not granted asylum but who also cannot be deported to their homeland because of safety reasons are allowed to work and have unrestricted access to the apprenticeship market
In Germany approved refugees with residence permit are allowed to work without restrictions. Additionally there is the suspension of deportation. The suspension is granted to refugees who are not deported although their asylum application has been rejected. This refugees and refugees with residence permit have access to the labor market after three month.
A disparity to Austria is the priority check. German employees or employees from the EU member states have priority over refugees for vacancies.
But because of the current positive labor market situation and the high number of job vacancies (retrieved 9 September 2015) there could be changes in the priority check anytime soon.
Barriers for refugees on the labor market
Beside country-specific differences in job training and practicing it is also important to consider that many refugees only have compulsory education and often are faced with problems concerning the Latin alphabet. Many of them have professions which almost do not exist any more in Europe like carpet makers or fishermen. Most do not own documents or credentials.
In addition to that it can be difficult for them to work in a regulated work environment because of traumatic experiences and their consequences caused by the war.
Integration of refugees on the labor market
In the meantime there are offered online education and employment platforms like Workeer or Mygrade, which connect job seekers and employers and enable an easy application.
Once a refugee is recruited it is advantageous to nominate an employee which cares about the special needs, concerns and problems and simultaneously enable them an easy entrance into the employment market.