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Jobs for Immigrants (Vol. 2)

Labour Market Integration in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Portugal

image of Jobs for Immigrants (Vol. 2)

When immigrants arrive in a new country, they are confronted with new labour market requirements such as language proficiency, familiarity with job search procedures and work practices which they are not always able to satisfy. These obstacles affect not only new immigrants, but, surprisingly, their children too, even if the children are born and educated in the receiving country. This publication presents reviews of the labour market integration of immigrants and their children in four OECD countries (Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Portugal), and provides country-specific recommendations. Governments have a role to play in promoting language and vocational training, and encouraging diversity in the workplace. Immigrants themselves must accept the requirements of the host country employers. The viability of future migration policies, in particular greater recourse to immigration, will depend to a large extent on how successful OECD countries and immigrants are in achieving these objectives.

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The labour market integration of immigrants and their children in Belgium

Immigration to Belgium is characterised by a significant heterogeneity regarding the origin and distribution of the immigrant population and their labour market outcomes. With more than 12% foreign-born in the population, Belgium has one of the larger immigrant communities in Europe. Belgium is a country with a long immigration history with successive migration waves of immigrants coming for different reasons and from different countries. Until the early post-war period, immigration was work-related, with immigrants mainly coming from the neighbouring countries and from Italy. Over the following decades, inflows gradually shifted to a more diverse set of origin countries, and towards family and humanitarian migration.

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