Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

In the new ICMPD Commentary, Martin Hofmann, ICMPD Principal Advisor, dives into the importance of compenece checks and skills assessments on the way to labour market inclusion of Ukrainian refugees who have been granted immediate access to employmeny in the EU. This Commentary was published on 28 March 2022 and is also available in Russian and Ukrainian languages.

More than 3.8 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the start of the Russian invasion and crossed into Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia and other neighbouring countries. On 3 March, European Union Member States agreed to activate the Temporary Protection Directive for the first time, offering immediate temporary residence and work permits to Ukrainian citizens.

Labour market participation plays a key role in integration. Employment provides economic self-sustainability and facilitates participation in the social and cultural life of the host country. The increasing demand for skilled labour in the EU and the high qualification levels of Ukrainian refugees are good prerequisites for making this process successful. Previous experience, however, indicates that obstacles in the recognition of formal qualifications and practical work experience, as well as a lack of language skills, mean that refugees often take jobs below their qualification level. EU Member States are well advised to accompany labour market integration efforts with measures to avoid de-skilling and brain waste. These should include early skills assessments and competence checks, which guide the recognition of formal and informal qualifications, identify needs for additional training and develop individual blueprints for corresponding support measures.

Read the full Commentary on the ICMPD website