Ukraine, Commission guidelines to help refugees access work and training

Ensuring rapid and effective integration into the labor market is important for both host communities and those fleeing the war to rebuild their lives, continue to develop their skills, and ultimately help rebuild Ukraine.

Since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine and its civilian population, more than 7 million people have fled Ukraine and joined the EU. More than 135,000 arrived in Italy, mostly women and children. So far, only a relatively small number of people of working age have entered the EU labor market, although the number of people willing to do so is expected to increase.

Understanding and recognizing people’s formal skills and qualifications is key to making it easier for them to enter the job market and ensuring that they find a job that fits their skills. Improving existing skills and acquiring new skills are essential for full participation in the labor market and society.

To facilitate this process, the European Commission published on June 14 a communication with guidelines to help people fleeing the war in Ukraine to gain access to jobs.

work, training and adult training.

The guidelines presented:

– describe the measures that Member States can take on the basis of lessons learned and best practices collected so far, as well as on the basis of measures already taken at EU level,

a) integrate people arriving from Ukraine into the labor market e

b) support their access to vocational education and training (VT) and adult learning;

– include several concrete examples of EU-funded projects that can inspire Member States’ initiatives in this area and help ensure that Member States make the best use of available support at EU level.

Access to employment and training

As part of the guidelines presented, the Commission invites Member States to:

  • provide information on the support available to people fleeing war, for example in the field of career guidance, counseling and protection against discrimination, without being limited to the existing legal obligation to report the people of their rights;
  • Facilitate the integration into the labor market of beneficiaries of temporary protection and, where appropriate, adequate protection under national law, in particular:

a) encouraging people arriving in the EU to register with local public employment services;

(b) taking into account the needs of people fleeing war in the work of national authorities and employment services (eg, paying special attention to women’s access to the labor market and the labor market); access to daycare and school education, employing people in sectors where there is a labor shortage or where they could support other people from Ukraine);

c) to support entrepreneurs who hire people fleeing the war and aid for the creation of new businesses;

d) open entrepreneurship support programs to newcomers;

  • ensure the widest possible access to the labor market, for example by tackling the risk of exploitation and undeclared work through the cooperation of actors such as police authorities and labor inspectorates, without making use of the possibility of Priority protection directive to give priority. access to the labor market for EU citizens and others, and ensuring that measures always take into account the perspective of people with disabilities.

Recognize existing skills and invest in new skills

As part of the guidelines presented, the Commission invites Member States to:

  • ensure that people’s competencies and qualifications can be quickly considered, assessed and recognized, regardless of the availability of documentation; this may include support in terms of curriculum preparation, proficiency testing, and recovery of missing qualifications;
  • offer specific opportunities for improvement and retraining, vocational training and / or practical experiences in the workplace as soon as possible; to this end, close collaboration is needed with education and training providers, the social partners and the private sector to ensure that these opportunities are consistent with labor market needs and skills shortages;
  • ensure rapid access to initial vocational training, including apprentices, and explore the possibilities for extending the continuous stays of Ukrainian students in vocational education and training, an aspect of special relevance for young people;
  • offer adults fleeing Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine access to general education, even through second-chance schools, as well as enrollment in higher education institutions.

The Commission has made several tools available in Ukrainian within the Europass platform; this initiative will help Ukrainian-speaking users create resumes, test their digital skills, submit applications and find job and training offers in the EU. The Ukrainian translation of the European Multilingual Classification of Skills, Competences and Occupations (ESCO) will also be available shortly.

Support from EU funds

Member States’ measures to ensure access to the labor market, vocational training and adult learning can be funded by EU funds, including the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Regional Development Fund ( ERDF), the European Aid Fund for the Most Deprived (FEAD) and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). InvestEU, the Technical Support Service and Erasmus + can also contribute.

The guidelines presented contain several specific examples of EU-funded projects in support of labor market integration, such as:

  • the Fast Track Action Boost (FAB) project in Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden, with the support of the Employment and Social Innovation Program (EaSI), which funded rapid job placement itineraries for refugees and their families , paying special attention to refugees. women;
  • the ‘Validation Centers of Skills’ project in Belgium, supported by the ESF, which helps people with professional experience fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine to obtain official and free validation of their skills. Official recognition is useful for demonstrating skills to an employer, for resuming training, or for accessing a profession.

Leave a Comment