A Successful Integration of Refugees into the German Labor Market

Akademische Arbeit, 2021

21 Seiten, Note: 1,0


Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2 Migration in Germany: Numbers, Data and Facts
2.1 Clarification of Terms and Legal Frameworks
2.2 Migration to Germany over the Past Decade

3 Labor Market Integration and Employment Policy
3.1 Integration of Refugees and Asylum-seekers: Overview
3.2 Labor Market Situation in Germany
3.3 Legal Framework for Refugee Integration
3.4 Barriers to Entry to the Labor Market for the Refugees and Asylum-seekers
3.5 Legislative Changes and Policy Measures for Supporting Refugees’ Integration into the Labor Market

4 Conclusion


List of Tables and Figures

Table 1: Development of annual number of asylum application since 2010

Table 2: Monthly development of thejob index (BA-X) over the last decade

Figure 1: Development of labor demand over the past decade (BA-X)


Migration has become an important socioeconomic phenomenon in many countries around the world including Germany. There has been a large number of refugees coming into Europe specifically in Germany in the past couple of years. This has resulted an increased interest in promoting stable solution. Integration of refugees has become a central issue in the process of seeking solution for the sudden influx of unexpected number of refugees. This article considers the integration of refugees into the labor market in Germany. It focuses on how the refugees can successfully be integrated into the labor market and discusses about the barriers as well as the supporting measures to an effective labor market Integration of refugees and asylum seekers. Integration of refugees into the German society especially into the German labor market became polarized in the public discussions. There have been several law enactments to improve the labor integration of the refugees in the past couple of years which has seen a policy shift facilitating labor market access for refugees and asylum seekers. This has allowed the refugees and asylum seekers to get a quick access to the labor market. According to several sources this has increased the proportion of working refugees and asylum seekers.

Keywords'. Migration, refugee, asylum seeker, integration, labor market.

1. Introduction

Migration has become a central issue for debates around the world. People are continuously fleeing from their homes. More than 70 million people worldwide are on the escape route. This and the problems associated with it pose a major challenge for the global community that must be overcome together. Time and again people came to Germany fleeing persecution and war.1 Germany received a large number of refugees in the past decade. This has resulted in an increased interest in promoting stable solution. Integration of refugees has become a central issue in the process of seeking solution for the sudden influx of unexpected number of refugees into Europe.2 Integrating the refugees and asylum-seekers in the labor market became a critical issue for the policymakers within the framework of seeking solution for the refugee crisis. That most of the incoming asylum-seekers would very likely be granted a protection and asylum and would most probably stay for a long time or even permanently. The German labor market policies in the early 1990s discouraged employment of refugees and asylum-seekers due to the Assumption that it would be a drive factor for the asylum-seekers and would also prevent the working refugees from deportations. However, over the past few years, several policy reformations have been made and the policymakers focused on the facilitation of the labor market access. These policy reformations facilitated and supported refugees and asylum­seekers to get access employment opportunities. This also encouraged the early involvement of refugees in the labor market. The huge financial impacts of the refugees in recent years and the revision of the European Union rules towards refugees and asylum-seekers in 2013 also played a role in this political shift in Germany. Apart from the fact that the refugees’ participation in the labor market has been seen beneficial, as it would positively affect the aging population and the shortfall of skilled workers in the country.3

The central question of this paper is, how can the refugees be successfully integrated into the German labor market? This paper examines the ways in which the German government has adjusted its legal, political, and institutional frameworks to facilitate refugees access to employment and their participation in the labour market. The objective is to summarise in a non-technical way the main challenges and good policy practices to support the successful integration of the refugees and asylum seekers.

The paper is structured as follows: The following section addresses the overview of the migration statistics as well as the clarification and definitions of terms and their legal basis. The third chapter deals with the labor market and integration policy for refugees and asylum­seekers in Germany. The various obstacles refugees and asylum-seekers face on the integration process specifically, on the labor market and several initiatives and new approaches for facilitating refugees’ labor market integration will also be reviewed in this chapter. And finally, we summarize the paper by solving the question of the paper and illustrating how Germany responded to this challenge set up a successful integration of refugees into the labor market.

2 Migration in Germany: Numbers, Data and Facts

2.1 Clarification of Terms and Legal Frameworks

Migration: The world health organization (WHO) defines migration “as a movement of a person or a group of persons, either across an international border, or within a State. It is a population movement, encompassing any kind of movement of people, whatever its length, composition and causes; it includes migration of refugees, displaced persons, economic migrants, and persons moving for other purposes, including family reunification.”4 As this implies, migration is about the change of residence from one place to another (nationally or internationally) for whatever reason and timeframe it may be involved.

Migrant: The term „migrant “does not have a universally agreed definition. According to the UN-Migration Agency (IOM) a migrant is any person who moves across an international border or within a state that is distant from their usual place of residence, regardless of the legal status of the person; whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary; what the causes of emigration are; or how long their stay lasts.5

Refugee: Refugees are people who left their home country due to political persecution or war and disasters and are looking for protection and asylum in a country other than their native country. In addition to, refugees are also migrants. A distinction is made between refugees and migrants according to their voluntary nature. Because the refugees are forced to leave their homeland and the migrants emigrate voluntarily.6 7 On the other hand, according to the Article 1 of the Geneva Refugee Convention (GFK) of 1951, a “refugee” is a person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there,forfear of persecution I' [1] So, according to this definition a person can only be recognized as a refugee when he/she fully or partially meets with these specific conditions mentioned above.

Asylum seeker: An asylum seeker is a person seeking international protection - a person who applies for asylum, i.e., for admission and protection from persecution, in a foreign country and whose asylum procedure has not yet been completed. But one very important point is, to make a clear distinction between the terms “refugee” and “asylum-seeker” since every asylum seeker may not ultimately be recognized as a refugee, but every refugee is initially regarded as an asylum seeker.8

2.2 Migration to Germany over the Past Decade

Germany was heavily affected by a sudden inflow of a very large number of refugees in the years of 2015 and 2016. A sum of over 1 million refugees and asylum-seekers arrived in Germany in these two years, which becomes the highest number of asylum-seekers the country faced in recent years.9 Although the country has already seen a strong influx of asylum seekers in the early 1990s, the current situation differs not only in terms of size, but also because many asylum seekers come from countries with little prospect of return, at least in the short term.10 The following table shows how the number of asylum-seekers has developed throughout the past decade.


1 Bundesregierung (16.10.2020). Was tut die Bundesregierung im Bereich Migration und Integration? Available at: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/suche/migration-und-integration-1657562 [accessed 10 August 2021]

2 Eurofound (2016), Approaches to the labour market integration of refugees and asylum seekers, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

3 Rietig, Victoria. (2016). Movingbeyond crisis: Germany’s new approaches to integrating refugees into the labor market. Washington, DC: Migration policy institute.

4 International Organization for Migration (IOM) (2011, p. 62-63). Glossary on Migration. https://www.corteidh.or.cr/sitios/observaciones/ll/anexo5.pdf [accessed 10 August 2021]

5 Carling, Jorgen (n.d.). What is the meaning of ‘migrants’? Available at: https://meaningofmigrants.org [accessed 10 August 2021]

6 Edwards, Adrian (11 July 2016). UNHCR viewpoint: ‘Refugee’ or ‘migrant’ - Which is right?

Geneva. Available at: https://www.unhcr.org/news/latest/2016/7/55df0e556/unhcr-viewpoint-refugee- migrant-righthtml [accessed 10 August 2021]

7 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (01.06.2001). Frequently asked questions about the 1951 Refugee Convention. Available at: https://www.unhcr.org/news/stories/2001/6/3b4c06578/freauentlv- asked-auestions-1951-refugee-convention.html# Toc519482140 [accessed 10 August 2021]

8 Carling, Jorgen (n.d.). What is the meaning of ‘migrants’?

9 Seidelsohn et al., (2020, p. 217). Refugees’ Labor Market Integration in the Context of a Polarized Public Discourse.

10 OECD, (2017, p. 11). Labour Market Integration of Refugees in Germany.

Ende der Leseprobe aus 21 Seiten


A Successful Integration of Refugees into the German Labor Market
ISBN (Buch)
successful, integration, refugees, german, labor, market
Arbeit zitieren
Abdiaziz Muhumed (Autor:in), 2021, A Successful Integration of Refugees into the German Labor Market, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1183723


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