From Immigration to Integration

Local Solutions to a Global Challenge

image of From Immigration to Integration

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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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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