Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2015

Settling In

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This joint publication by the OECD and the European Commission presents the first broad international comparison across all EU and OECD countries of the outcomes for immigrants and their children, through 27 indicators organised around five areas: Employment, education and skills, social inclusion, civic engagement and social cohesion (Chapters 5 to 12). Three chapters present detailed contextual information (demographic and immigrant-specific) for immigrants and immigrant households (Chapters 2 to 4). Two special chapters are dedicated to specific groups. The first group is that of young people with an immigrant background, whose outcomes are often seen as the benchmark for the success or failure of integration. The second group are third-country nationals in the European Union, who are the target of EU integration policy.

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Cognitive skills and training of immigrant adults

Adults’ cognitive skills have a strong bearing on their career paths. They also shape how immigrants find their place in society and give their offspring a better chance of a high-quality education. Although individuals’ skills are obviously decisive determinants in their economic and social integration, they can in themselves be considered indicators not of how well immigrants actually integrate or fare in the host society but of their ability to do so. Many received their initial training and education and built at least part of their skills as adults in their country of origin before they migrated. Against that background, the host country often plays only a limited role in educating the foreign-trained people.Host countries can, however, play a telling part in ensuring lifelong training and education. It can round off immigrants’ initial education and training so that their skills and qualifications meet the requirements of the labour market more closely. Immigrants, including those who are highly qualified, may struggle to free up their skills potential if they are hampered by a poor command of the host country’s language or a lack of understanding of how its labour market works.This chapter begins by considering and comparing the levels of education attained by foreign- and native-born adults (). It then goes on to assess literacy in the host country’s language as the OECD’s Programme of International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) measures it (). Finally, the chapter examines access to adult education and training () with a special focus on work-related training (). For further discussion of some of the issues that the indicators raise, see the section entitled Data limitations at the end of the chapter.

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