The UN estimates that there are over 244 million migrants across the globe, offering many workforce with talented and educated new workers, to shape the labour market. Many organisations are welcoming migrants into the workforce and leveraging their talents, with great value to their businesses. Unfortunately, however, migrants still face many significant barriers to meaningful incorporation into the labour market; with many professional and qualified people finding themselves trapped in jobs which do not utilise their skills, education and expertise.
There are many ways for employers to support the integration of refugees and other migrants in their workforce. Effective immigrant integration within the workforce, requires a level playing field. This can be achieved through the introduction of policies and practices to support new migrants, as they transition back into the workforce. Consultation with an experienced migration agent in Australia, is imperative to achieve the successful implementation of inclusive practices and policies, for the benefit of all members of the business. Read on to find the employer’s guide to integrating migrants into the workplace.
Language and education courses
Companies that are not afraid of language barriers and cultural differences early in the integration process, are rewarded with the chance to train and hire people who are highly motivated and highly skilled.
Once new migrants have exhausted any state-funded support and integration courses, it can be difficult for them to continue to access language and other other important transition programmes. Providing new migrant employees with continuing education and language programmes ensures that your new staff are better equipped to fulfil their full potential within your workplace, and to adapt and integrate to their new home country.
Education and skills identification
Migrants and refugees with foreign credentials and qualifications, often struggle in having their experience recognised by local employers. This means that many qualified new arrivals are forced to abandon their professional aspirations, and settle for employment that does not recognise their education or level of prior experience.
Many employment policies are devoted to supplying immigrants for perceived labour market shortfalls, and pay little attention to the education and skills of new migrants. It is therefore integral for employers to take the time to identify and utilise the education and skills of migrant employees.
Mental health initiatives
New migrants are often prone to significant mental health issues as they adjust to a new home country. These issues can form as a result of cultural isolation, language barriers and a loss of family support.
Workplace mental health initiatives are, therefore, critical to successful integration. This could be in the form of onsite programmes, access to resources, information and regular healthcare for the most vulnerable. Furthermore, this support needs to be appropriate and respectful of varied cultural beliefs and tailored for those who may require the use of an interpreter.
Other employees have a role to play in supporting the integration of migrants and refugees. While workplace policy and programmes are integral in providing the systems that support the transition, employee engagement and attitudes, play a key role in the success of integration efforts. Education regarding cultural differences and religion, are key to tackling issues of discrimination and racism that often affect migrants. By promoting a culture of acceptance and inclusion, employers can support migrants in becoming valued members of their workforce.
Businesses that make efforts to promote a culture of inclusion among their members, are better equipped to enhance their talent pool, and foster a workplace of loyalty and employee engagement. By following the simple tips in this guide, your business can benefit from the skills of new migrants.