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Migration and skills: Making migration work better

Thematic Area: ; Migrant Support Measures from an Employment and Skills Perspective
Year/Date: 04/09/2015


You can follow this conference through live streaming. Available here from 09:30 on Tuesday 15 September.

In the discussion on migration from countries in the EU’s neighbourhood to EU member states and beyond, there is a growing need to focus on skills development and their utilisation.

Filling skill gaps, facilitating job-matching for third country nationals and the recognition of migrants’ qualifications are priorities. Making migrants’ skills ‘visible, readable and portable’ regardless of how they are learnt (formal, non-formal, informal) will help achieve a win-win-win – maximising benefits for receiving countries, for sending countries and for the migrants themselves.

The skills dimension of migration is the central theme of a conference to be held in Brussels from 15 – 16 September. The event is part of the EU Eastern Partnership Platform 2 dialogue, and includes participants from the six Eastern Partnership countries, (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). Countries from the southern Mediterranean region who have signed or who are preparing to sign Mobility Partnership agreements with the EU (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia) are also invited. Representatives from EU member states, EU institutions, international organisations and research institutes will also participate.

The conference will build on the EU’s external migration policy, Mobility Partnerships and the European Agenda on Migration, with a focus on how skills development and employment policies can contribute to the better management of circular migration. A global inventory of migrant support measures and country case studies will form the basis for facilitated discussions, with a particular focus given to the role of origin countries in the pre- and post-migration phases and measures for the transparency and portability of skills.

The conference is a unique opportunity to share experiences with all European neighbourhood countries in their implementation of Mobility Partnerships and will help inform policy making. More information is available on the conference event page.

MISMES: Migrant support measures

In recent years, the ETF has looked at how policy makers can support people to get the best from the skills they have, develop new skills and apply those skills to contribute to the economy of their country of origin as well as to the economies of countries to which they migrate. In 2014, the ETF conducted an inventory of migrant support measures from an employment or skills perspective, or MISMES, globally and in-depth in five partner countries (Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Morocco and Tunisia).

The ETF’s work proves that policy measures for improving skills utilisation and skills enhancement are often the missing link, even though they are key instruments in overcoming labour market integration problems and skills mismatches in both countries of origin and destination. The right policy measures can help both potential and returning migrants to find jobs in which they can make proper use of their skills or identify the skills they need to develop in order to access appropriate employment.

Applying MISMES throughout the migration process (i.e. before, during and after migration), contributes to improvements to skills and employment outcomes, making migration work better for sending countries, receiving countries and migrants themselves, meaning a win-win-win for all involved.

MISMES inventories, including a summary and methodological note, are available on the ETF’s website. An interactive map detailing MISMES in five partner countries is also available.

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