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FAST TRACK INTEGRATION INTO THE LABOUR MARKET FOR THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS TARGETING EXCLUSIVELY ASYLUM SEEKERS, REFUGEES AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS - VP/2016/015
Deadline: 30 Mar 2017   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion

 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 Aid to Refugees
 Social and Welfare
 Migrants and Refugees

1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND

1.1. Programme/Legal base

This call for proposals is published under the European Programme

for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" 2014-20201. This is a Europeanlevel

financing instrument managed directly by the European Commission to

contribute to the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy, by providing financial

support for the Union's objectives in terms of promoting a high level of quality and

sustainable employment, guaranteeing adequate and decent social protection,

combating social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions.

Social innovation as promoted by the EaSI programme can help addressing social

challenges – such as the current refugee integration challenge - by providing better

and innovative responses to identified social needs, in order to deliver better social

outcomes.

The EaSI Programme shall, in all its axes and actions, aim to:

a) pay particular attention to vulnerable groups such as young people;

b) promote equality between women and men,

c) combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief,

disability, age or sexual orientation;

d) promote a high-level of quality and sustainable employment, guarantee

adequate and decent social protection, combat long-term unemployment and

fight against poverty and social exclusion.

The vulnerable groups mentioned in a) include asylum seekers and refugees arriving

to Europe in the context of the on-going migration crisis, as well as their family

members.

Hence, in designing, implementing and reporting on the activity,

beneficiaries/contractors must address the issues noted above and will be required to

provide detail, in the final activity report on the steps and achievements made towards

addressing those aims.

This call for proposals has been designed to seek synergies with activities conducted

under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and other initiatives or

pilot projects from other EU institutions.

1.2. Policy and economic background

The EU has recently witnessed a dramatic increase in migratory flows. This

unprecedented influx, largely composed of people seeking international protection,

remains a challenge for the European Union and its Member States not only in terms

of reception, but also in terms of their long-term integration in the host societies, as

recalled by the President of the European Commission in his speech on the State of the Union in September 2016.

 

The Commission Communication on the 2016 European Semester2 also pointed out the fact that economic and social policies also needed to cater for the recent inflow of migrants and refugees, in particular to provide for their immediate needs and

integration in the labour market and society.

The EU Action Plan for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals adopted

on 7 June 2016 provides a comprehensive framework to support Member States'

efforts in developing and strengthening their migrant integration policies, and

describes the concrete policy, operational and financial measures that the Commission

will implement. While it targets all third country nationals in the EU, it contains

actions to address the specific challenges faced by refugees3.

The Action Plan also refers to the gender dimension of migration, and to the situation

of migrant women, and notably refugee women. Refugee women face more serious

challenges in securing employment than their male peers but also than all other groups

of migrant women. The employment rate for refugee women is on average 45%. It is

lower than for other non-EU born female and native born women and 17 percentage

points lower than that of refugee men. Moreover, refugee women have the highest rate

of unemployment, 21%, versus 19% for refugee men and 17% for non-refugee

migrant women. Targeted and tailor-made initiatives to ensure equal access for these

women to integration measures must thus be foreseen. These initiatives may include

access to childcare and other care facilities so as to ensure equal access by parents to

integration measures.

As mentioned in the Action Plan, while labour market inclusion is fundamental to

becoming part of the host country's economic and social life, integration is more than

having a job; it is a dynamic two-ways process, with rights and obligations on both

sides: the hosting society and the third country nationals. In that respect civil society

has a crucial role to play in creating the conditions conducive to the social and labour

market integration, as well as in helping in the implementation of the integration

policies.

Recent experiences4 and research5 highlight common key findings to the multidimensional

challenge of the integration into the labour market. An early intervention

with tailor-made approaches to facilitate the labour market access, in particular for

refugees and asylum seekers, is an essential feature. Allowing access to decent and

affordable accommodation, identifying mental and physical health issues early and

providing adequate support, as well as promoting equal access to integration services

across the country are other key factors of a successful integration policy. Recording

and assessing the qualifications, work experiences and skills are also acknowledged as

an essential requirement to ensure the individuals' talents are used to their full

potential. At the same time, one must acknowledge that the integration of very poorly

educated migrants requires long term training and support, in particular for the

unaccompanied minors who need adequate services as well as tailored education and

training programmes.

The "New Skills Agenda for Europe - Working together to strengthen human capital,

employability and competitiveness"6 adopted on 10 June 2016 provides a number of

actions to ensure that the right training, the right skills and the right support is

available to people in the European Union. It includes a "Skills Profile Tool for Third

Country Nationals" that should be launched early in 2017 to support early

identification and profiling of skills and qualifications of asylum seekers, refugees and

other migrants. Such a tool could be used under this call.

1.3. Main Purpose

The present call for proposals aims at funding innovative transnational projects to test

and implement innovative policy schemes and delivery mechanisms that will ensure

and facilitate a swift labour market integration of the specific target groups of third

country nationals listed below. Proposals could also include the replication of

successful innovative initiatives already implemented in other(s) country(ies).

Only applications targeting specifically the support to the following groups of third

country nationals will be considered eligible for further evaluation:

• asylum seekers,

• refugees and their family members.

Specific measures targeting the labour market integration of migrant women will

be considered favourably.

For the sake of simplicity, "refugees" is used in these specifications to refer to all

beneficiaries of international protection (be they Geneva Convention refugees or

beneficiaries of subsidiary protection).

2. OBJECTIVE(S) – PRIORITIES – TYPES OF ACTIONS - EXPECTED RESULTS

2.1. Objectives - Priorities

Rapid labour market integration is key to successful integration in the receiving

society. It is therefore important to promote good practices allowing the target groups

to integrate quickly into the labour market, matching the labour market needs of the

hosting countries, while equipping the target groups with the necessary skills to ensure

their integration into the labour market and society more broadly.

The inclusion of the gender dimension through an integrated approach responding to

the specific needs of migrant women must be taken into account in the applications.

6 COM(2016) 381 final: http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=15621&langId=en

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The objectives of this Call are:

• to promote the development and testing of innovative and effective mechanisms

to ensure fast-track integration into the labour market;

• to develop sustainable multi-level partnerships models conducive towards the

integration of the targeted groups into the labour market;

• to foster knowledge- and experience-sharing between different Member States of

already functioning swift and successful insertion mechanisms into the labour

market of the targeted groups, with a strong emphasis on the challenges faced by

women7.

2.2. Type of actions/activities to be funded

Actions must result in effective integration into the labour market within the

timeframe of the project. In particular they shall:

• be instrumental for achieving the objectives set out in point 2.1

• take into account the job market needs of the receiving country(ies);

• help the target groups matching those needs;

• cover the different dimensions of a fast integration of the target groups;

• demonstrate a long-term vision;

• challenge stereotypes as to gender roles among migrant communities and

ensure that work practices promote gender equality and do not reinforce

gender stereotypes, segregation and inequalities;

• be sustainable beyond the grant period;

• build up the main actors' capacity to implement these schemes;

• include mechanisms for transfer/replication for other host countries/groups.

Proposed actions should be creative and propose innovative measures whilst building

on existing good practice where relevant8.

Testing innovative approaches and/on scaling-up effective proven policy schemes

should be supported by robust and documented evaluation method and validation

mechanisms. At each step of the project, the roles of the various actors should be

precisely described

The examples below are a non-exhaustive list of activities that could be foreseen:

• design and implementation of comprehensive integration mechanisms ensuring

the fast-track integration into the labour market, including



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