Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED)

1990-1097 (online)
1990-1100 (print)
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A series of reports from OECD’s Local Economic and Employment Development Programme (LEED). The LEED Programme identifies analyses and disseminates innovative ideas for local development, governance and the social economy. Governments from OECD member and non-member economies look to LEED and work through it to generate innovative guidance on policies to support employment creation and economic development through locally based initiatives. See also OECD Reviews of Local Job Creation under Related Reading.

Also available in French
From Immigration to Integration

From Immigration to Integration

Local Solutions to a Global Challenge You do not have access to this content

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13 Nov 2006
9789264028968 (PDF) ;9789264028951(print)

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For the potential advantages of migration to be harnessed, it is crucial that immigration be accompanied by integration, or effective mechanisms for ensuring that immigrants are incorporated into labour markets, the economy and society. While immigration policy is often determined, designed and funded at the national level, its impact on migrants and society is more strongly felt at the local level where other policies interact. This publication highlights principles and factors which are important in supporting integration locally. A comparison of local initiatives implemented in five OECD countries - Canada, UK (London), Spain, Italy, and Switzerland - answers key questions facing all policy makers and stakeholders working in this field. This book provides a set of concrete policy recommendations for implementation at both local and national levels.
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  • Executive Summary
    The integration of immigrants at the local level is a topic of significant interest for OECD countries. The growing importance of the knowledge economy means that the battle for talent is becoming as important as the battle for inward investment, and skilled migrants can offer a significant comparative advantage to local labour markets, as long as their potential is harnessed. Unskilled migrants are also in demand, particularly where rising living costs make lower paid jobs unattractive to the native population, and where demographic change and population movement combine to reduce the self-sufficiency of local labour markets. For the potential advantages of migration to be maximised however, it is crucial that immigration is accompanied by integration, that is, effective mechanisms for ensuring immigrants are effectively incorporated into local labour markets. Paradoxically, at the same time that migration is increasing in global importance, there is worrying evidence that integration results do not seem to be as favourable in a number of countries as they were in the past.
  • Introduction. Integrating Immigrants: Finding the Right Policy Mix to Tackle a Governance Problem
    The issue of integrating migrants, their families and their descendants can be assimilated to two governance issues. There is a clear mismatch between immigration and integration policies in many countries, with policies to manage immigration rarely being accompanied by strong policies to support integration. Secondly, integrating immigrants is a multifaceted issue which cuts across policy areas, creating a collective action problem and a lack of effective public sector action. While local stakeholders such as NGOs can attempt to fill the gaps in public services, this often leads to increased fragmentation at the local level. In order to better tackle the barriers facing immigrants, it may ultimately be more important to increase flexibility in the management of mainstream policies relating to the issue of labour market integration (namely training and education, labour market policy and economic development) rather than create new initiatives and partnerships locally.
  • From Immigration to Integration: Comparing Local Practices
    The integration of immigrants at the local level is principally a question of the management of change. Effective labour market integration depends on helping immigrants to manage the rapid changes which are happening in their own lives, whilst at the same ensuring that the local community itself evolves and responds to changes in its population and in its urban fabric. This has a number of implications for an effective governance response. In particular, immigrants need clear road maps to guide them between the various services which will support their transition into a new life. Local areas also need to be aware of changes in the immigrant population, and develop new techniques to maximise the opportunities brought by skilled migrants, whilst removing unnecessary barriers to the workplace. This chapter reviews the activities of local stakeholders in each of the five countries studied, highlighting innovation and good practice, while also identifying common problems, and ongoing gaps in provision.
  • Integrating Immigrants in Canada: Addressing Skills Diversity
    Canada takes pride in being a "country of immigration"; however the rates of labour market integration for immigrants are less impressive today than they have been in the past. The decentralised employment service means that NGOs play an important role in labour market integration but they are hampered by bureaucracy associated with their reliance on a number of different funding streams. While the three Canadian cities of Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg offer strong examples of innovative local practices, often based on partnerships with the private sector, there are concerns that current local interventions are too small scale to address the persisting reluctance by employers and trades organisations to accept qualifications and experience gained overseas.
  • Innovating in the Supply of Services to Meet the Needs of Immigrants in Italy
    Local authorities play an important role in supporting integration in Italy, particularly in the provision of emergency management and access to affordable housing. Local NGOs, often connected to the Catholic Church, also play a key role, partly through supporting the development of social networks which are crucial in a country where much employment is advertised informally. At the regional level, the European Social Fund has provided an important means of supporting access to training, and chambers of commerce have been active in supporting immigrant entrepreneurship and developing innovative bilateral training schemes with regions in sending countries. While such local and regional initiatives have had success in helping people into jobs, their ability to support longer term integration in Italy is more doubtful, partly due to a lack of emphasis on long term career planning and development.
  • Routes into Employment for Refugees: A Review of Local Approaches in London
    London is one of the world’s global cities and is the engine of the UK migration system. A wide variety of initiatives exist to support the integration of immigrants into the labour market, including those targeted towards refugees. At the local level, refugees are often helped by immigrant associations and community organisations that are felt to offer a supportive environment for new arrivals. In partnership with the public sector, such organisations have developed innovative education and training initiatives including projects to support the recognition of qualifications gained overseas. However the piecemeal development of such support over a number of years has led to a relatively fragmented system, which is reliant on relatively short term and unpredictable funding. In this context partnerships and networks play a crucial role in supporting both coordination and sustainability in support to refugees in the city.
  • Local Responses to a New Issue: Integrating Immigrants in Spain
    Spain is increasingly becoming "the immigration country of Europe" with high rates of immigration being accompanied by a new national integration strategy and a comprehensive regularisation programme. Partnerships between NGOs, local authorities and the public employment service have generated effective local integration mechanisms in Madrid, Barcelona and Lleida, accompanied by the development of a more inclusive idea of citizenship in certain local areas, leading to the mainstreaming of services for immigrants. In Lleida the potential for employers associations to improve the employment conditions of temporary agricultural workers is also demonstrated. Despite this new found dynamism, many local initiatives experience problems in helping migrants into a labour market which increasingly offers temporary and insecure work without strong chances of career progression.
  • Focusing on the Young: Integration in Switzerland
    The apprenticeship system is a key mechanism for labour market integration in Switzerland and is therefore considered crucial for young immigrants arriving in the country. Vocational training schools play an important role in integration in Geneva, Neuchâtel and Zurich, linking employers, migrants and the public policy system. In addition, mentoring and networking activities are a popular mechanism to support access to placements. However apprenticeships may not provide for all training needs and a notfor- profit organisation in Neuchâtel provides an alternative training model effective in meeting more short term skills shortages. Discrimination persists however, amongst local employers in Switzerland, and there are concerns that tackling training needs may not be a sufficient tool for labour market integration without the existence of a strong anti-discrimination legislation in the country.
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