Refugees with residency permits should be given far more support in finding work, the government’s most important advisory body says in a new report.
Recent research showed 25% of asylum seekers who were given formal refugee status in 2014 had found a job after 3.5 years and two-thirds depended on welfare benefits.
‘Yet there is a major shortage of people for the jobs currently on offer,’ SER chairwoman Mariette Hamer said in an interview with broadcaster NOS. ‘Refugees should be able to work more quickly.’
One problem identified in the SER report is that of combining work with learning the language. Another issue is the fact that refugees can usually only work once they have official residency papers, and that can take years.
In some places, particularly the bigger cities like Utrecht and Amsterdam, officials take a tailor-made approach and help refugees to use the skills they already have, the SER report said.
Nevertheless, more needs to be done, the agency said, to exchange best practices and expertise between local authorities.
‘We need to invest in these people. They are staying, their children are staying as well and it is important that they participate,’ Hamer said. ‘If they work, they contribute to our taxes, they participate and the investment is earned back.’
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