Knowledge Paper #3 - Fostering Returnees' Employment
This Knowledge Paper is the third issue of the Sustainable Reintegration Knowledge Papers Series published by the EU-IOM Knowledge Management Hub (KMH).
Migrant reintegration programmes have been largely focused on the set-up of microbusinesses. Self-employment and entrepreneurship fit the profile and preferences of many returnees: they allow returnees to rapidly generate an income, show relatives that they are back on their feet, and overcome perceived challenges in (re)accessing the labour market, especially when they have limited skills. However, not every returnee has the willingness, skills or mindset to become an entrepreneur. Some may prefer to find a job and earn a regular salary. Jobs can provide a more stable source of income than small businesses and be better adapted to some returnees’ skills and experience. Furthermore, jobs in the formal economy may also come with additional social benefits, including integration into social protection schemes. Despite this, waged employment has remained a challenging area of support in migrant reintegration programmes.
This paper looks at the various approaches and types of interventions that can be envisaged to foster returnees’ waged employment as a key factor to reach sustainable reintegration. Taking stock of practices and approaches implemented in a variety of contexts, it proposes a broad panorama of possible support activities. The paper is intended to provide ideas to reintegration, development and employment practitioners and policymakers worldwide on concrete support activities that can be carried out to foster returnees’ waged employment. Focusing on practices that can be implemented or supported in the framework of reintegration programmes, it does not describe policy interventions that can be carried out at a higher level to foster economic environments conducive to employment.