Making News

THE ADECCO GROUP white paper: More REFUGEES in work can boost GDP growth

Zürich, Switzerland -To mark World Refugee Day, The Adecco Group, in collaboration with researchers of the Reallabor Asyl, a research cooperation by the Heidelberg University, the Heidelberg University of Education and the Centre for European Economic Research, has launched a white paper on ‘The labour market integration of refugees’. The research outlines new evidence showing that swifter workplace integration of refugees can reduce their fiscal impact, lead to long-term GDP growth, and correct labour market imbalances. 18 European employers share their best practices, showing how the tone from the top, network building, flexibility and problem solving are key in the integration process.

The white paper was launched today in Düsseldorf in response to the unprecedented political, economic and social pressure caused by the dramatic increase in asylum seekers arriving in Europe over the last few years. In 2015 alone, more than one million people sought asylum in EU or European Economic Area countries. Yet few find work.

The employment of refugees can help address labour force imbalances, which are currently estimated to lead to a loss of USD 10 trillion, or 10% of worldwide GDP by 2030. Yet it takes a refugee population between 15 and 19 years to reach the EU’s average employment level. This is despite the fact that 70% of first time asylum seekers in the EU are of working age, and most of them want to work. The greatest barriers to refugee employment are regulatory complexities, long waiting periods before work is legally possible, lack of evidence of their individual qualifications as well as language skills.

Showcasing the best practices introduced by 18 major European employers, including IKEA, SAP, Siemens and Starbucks, as well as The Adecco Group France, Germany and the Adecco Foundation Italy, the white paper provides ten robust recommendations for employers and five for governments, to facilitate more effective workplace integration of refugees. The commitment of the leadership, investment in training, the ability to build a network, flexibility and preparing to go the extra mile are among the recommendations for employers whereas governments should focus on accelerating the administrative part of the integration process.

At today’s event, The Adecco Group also signed up to the European Union Commission’s ‘Employers together for integration’ initiative and to the UNHCR #WithRefugees Coalition. The pledges express the Group’s commitment to continue its advocacy work on the critical issue of refugee workplace integration.