Raymond Saner & Lichia Yiu, “Lack of semi-skilled workers in Switzerland: Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants? in Book titled « les questions migratoires et l’Agenda 2030 »

This article addresses one of the most debated aspects of immigration namely the question – does welcoming migrants and refugees affect positively or negatively the national dynamics of employment? It offers a policy analysis of the effects of migration and labour market conditions and policies in host countries and discusses opportunities for migrants to enter a host countries’ labour markets. The reasons for high migration are known and linked to violence, persecution, human rights violations and persistently high level of poverty in many parts of the world reaching very high levels over the last three years and resulting in millions of refugees and migrants crossing international borders with thousands of lives lost during the dangerous passing of borders and seas. On the other hand, in many European countries, a growing number of economic sectors are being affected by the potential threat of a shortage of semi-and low skilled workers. Taking Switzerland as an example, fewer young people attend professional schools thereby reducing the potential supply of a semi-skilled work force. The future short fall of semi-skilled and low-skilled work force will further increase due to the ageing of the Swiss population which in turn will impact the demand for semi-skilled and low skilled workers. Refugees and migrants could potentially find jobs in segments of the Swiss labour market thereby providing mutually beneficial solutions for all parties concerned that is a) for refugees and migrants seeking employment and asylum, b) for the aging population of host countries requiring care delivered by a low and semi-skilled work force and c) for public and private sector enterprises finding labour for economic sectors in need of qualified and motivated labour force.


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2018, published by Africa 21, Geneva: http://www.africa21.org/5eme-numero-dafrique-durable-2030-questions-migratoires-et-agenda-2030/