Labour market integration of beneficiaries of temporary protection from Ukraine

2024 05 21

EMN inform focuses on the labour market integration of beneficiaries of temporary protection from Ukraine across EMN Member and Observer countries. This inform offers an analysis of employment trends, policy priorities, and measures aimed at facilitating the integration of displaced individuals from Ukraine into host countries' labour markets. 

The massive inflow of people fleeing Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine triggered significant migration to the EU. Eurostat data indicates that by November 2023, over 4.27 million non-EU citizens who fled Ukraine due to the 2022 Russian invasion were under temporary protection in the EU - with Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic hosting approximately 60% of these individuals. Ukrainians constituted the majority of beneficiaries of temporary protection, with adult women forming a significant portion. Various EU initiatives were implemented to aid integration, including the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD) and the EU Skills Profile Tool. However, challenges remain, including skill and job mismatches. While measures such as simplified entry requirements and skills validation were introduced, comparable EU-wide data on labour market integration is limited. This inform emphasises understanding the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of displaced persons, analysing existing data on labour market integration, and mapping policies and measures across EMN Member and Observer Countries to facilitate integration.

Measures to transition beneficiaries from social welfare to financial independence are highlighted, with attention given to bridging programs.

Despite the challenges posed by data collection methodologies, efforts are underway to gather comprehensive information on beneficiaries of temporary protection employment outcomes. The top five sectors employing beneficiaries of temporary protection include accommodation and food service, administrative and support service activities, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and construction. Data from EMN Member and Observer Countries highlights the high level of educational attainment among beneficiaries of temporary protection, with over 60% having completed tertiary education in some countries. Nevertheless, significant mismatches exist between their prior employment in Ukraine and their current employment in host countries, often in low-skilled occupations. Challenges such as qualification recognition, language barriers, and uncertainty regarding stay duration contribute to these outcomes. Despite these challenges, early labour market integration of beneficiaries of temporary protection has shown promising trends, with some countries reporting employment rates exceeding 60%.

While common themes such as immediate access to the labour market and promoting self-sufficiency prevail, tailored support and sector-specific approaches underscore the need for flexibility. Language acquisition and qualification alignment emerge as crucial components for integration. Various strategies such as individual counselling, one-stop-shop services, and sector-specific initiatives aim to facilitate integration. Ongoing efforts also include awareness campaigns, sector-specific policies, and collaborative endeavours.

Host nations are implementing strategies to aid those under temporary protection in moving from joblessness to financial independence, known as bridging measures. While most offer broad support, targeted help for employed beneficiaries who find it difficult to meet basic needs is often missing. Tackling language obstacles and qualification disparities are crucial for successful labour market integration. In the majority of these countries, involvement in these integration efforts is voluntary.

EMN Inform (EN)