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Skills and migration

Migration is growing, becoming more diverse and complex, leading to greater demands on policy. While retaining efforts to prevent irregular migration, policy responses to migration from neighbourhood countries to EU member states are increasingly focusing on the benefits that can be realised by receiving countries, countries of origin, and migrants themselves. This so-called triple win scenario requires tackling migration from an employment and skills perspective, based on maximising skills acquisition and utilisation to support labour market integration.

Over the past few years, the ETF has been building a significant body of evidence relating to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of migrant support measures from an employment and skills perspective, commonly referred to as MISMES. MISMES aim at improving the labour market integration of immigrant and emigrant workers, refugees and returnees by facilitating decent work, labour mobility, job matching, livelihood and employment skills. Access to labour market information and the protection of the rights of migrant workers and refugees are key. MISMES aim to reduce the underutilisation of migrants’ skills and improve skills matching through skills development, work-based learning, career guidance and counselling, and the recognition and validation of skills. The ETF has developed a global inventory of MISMES and several country reports.

In 2017, the ETF published MISMES in two partner countries – Jordan and Lebanon - which are both sending migrants to work in EU member states and, at the same time, receiving labour immigrants and major refugee influxes. The reports provide migration facts and figures for the countries, reviewing key aspects of migration policies, legal frameworks, and stakeholders, presenting an overview of the MISMES inventory in each country. Good practice examples are highlighted, and recommendations offered for future policy initiatives, particularly bringing the attention of policy makers to the need to mainstream donor-supported actions within national policies.

The ETF liaises closely with the EU Delegations, offering general advice on MISMES and providing expertise on implementing skills-related actions included in Mobility Partnerships between the EU and the partner countries. Mobility Partnerships aim to bring coherence and stability to migration from sending countries, and are seen as an important factor in EU migration policy. A growing number of the ETF’s partner countries have signed, or are negotiating, Mobility Partnerships. The ETF is working to raise awareness of the potential to develop and implement skills-related measures to support migrants and improve outcomes for all.