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Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Amsterdam

image of Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 51.66% of the population was born outside of the country or has at least one parent born abroad. Amsterdam is proud of its cultural and ethnical diversity and actively works to attract international students and high-skilled migrants. Like many European cities, Amsterdam experienced a peak in refugees and asylum seekers arrivals in 2015 and in response has implemented a holistic integration model, which starts at the moment migrants arrive and supports them for their first three years. Migrants are not considered as a minority group with different needs, but rather as one group among others with specific characteristics (such as women, the elderly, the disabled, LGBT) whose outcomes are monitored to identify potential structural gaps in their access to opportunities and services. This work compiles data and qualitative evidence on how local actions for integration, across a number of sectors, are being designed and implemented by the City of Amsterdam and its partners within a multi-level governance framework.

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Block 4. Sectoral policies related to integration

The Netherlands has the largest gap in labour market outcomes between native and foreign-born in the OECD. The gap in the unemployment ratio between native and foreign-born people was 14.4 percentage points in 2015, while the OECD average was 3.4 (OECD, 2017e). According to OECD database on migrant population outcomes at TL2 level, the gap in North Holland in the unemployment rate between native-born (6%) and foreign born (10%) was smaller in 2014-2015 than at national level. In 2016, the difference between the percentage of the unemployed population in Amsterdam among non-western migrants (10.2%) and native born (4.7%) was 5.5 percentage points (OECD, 2017e). An OECD Skills review (OECD, 2017e) for the Netherlands shows that even within the same level of education, the employment gap between the native and foreign-born populations persists, hinting at the fact that other factors such as discrimination, difficulties in the recognition and validation of skills, as well as social and economic networks might play a role in labour market performance.

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