On the occasion of the United Nations’ World Refugee Day, the European Commission is today releasing the ‘EU Skills Profile Tool for Third-Country Nationals’

Why has the Commission introduced this tool?

Non-EU nationals (migrants from non-EU countries) can actively contribute to European societies, if successfully integrated into the host country.The integration of these people is one of the most important challenges we face together; as the cost of non-integration is far greater in the long run than the cost of effective integration policies. In addition, in light of digitalisation and an ageing society, Europe has an interest in becoming an attractive destination for the talent our economies need.To make the best of our human capital, we need to put all talent to use.

About 1 in 4 non-EU nationals in the EU have a high level of education, which is significantly lower than for EU-nationals. At the same time, around two-thirds of those non-EU nationals who are highly skilled are either inactive, unemployed or they are over-qualified for the work they are doing. This marks a clear need for action at different levels, to support both highly skilled non-EU nationals in their search for a job relevant to their skills and lower skilled non-EU nationals who need further education and training to access the labour market. The ‘EU Skills Profile Tool’ will benefit all non-EU nationals, and in particular those who have recently arrived.

It is still a challenge for national authorities (eg. reception centres, integration services and public employment services) to get a first clear overview of the skills and qualifications of newly-arrived non-EU nationals, in order to better guide them to employment, education, training or skills/qualification recognition. A multilingual tool which lists all job- and education-related information can facilitate the transition into the EU labour market – and, as a consequence, into society.

This June marks the one year anniversary of both the ‘New Skills Agenda for Europe’ and the EU ‘Action Plan on the Integration of Third-Country Nationals’. The Action Plan provides a comprehensive framework to support Member States’ efforts in developing and strengthening their integration policies. The New Skills Agenda includes 10 Key Actions, among which the launch of an ‘EU Skills Profile Tool for Third-Country Nationals’. Together they aim to support skills tailored to the needs of the labour market and reduce unemployment across the EU.

Who is the tool for?

The tool is designed to help all recently arrived non-EU nationals, who have the right to stay in the EU, and the organisations supporting their integration. Namely, this tool is useful for education, training, employment and migration/ integration organisations, national or regional governments. This wide range of stakeholders is the reason the tool has been made open and flexible, so that it can be adapted according to different user needs and circumstances.

Why is this tool useful? Do Member States not already have tools to track the qualifications and skills of third-country nationals?

Even though reception centres, integration services and public employment services in Member States are often well equipped to guide non-EU nationals to education, training, employment or skills recognition, the very first step of mapping their skills and experiences may still pose some difficulties …

This is an extract from an article on the europeanmigrationlaw.eu website published on 20 June 2017

Read more