Refugees face specific employment obstacles, says ESRI

Reports says State has not developed system of labour market supports for refugees


Refugees’ difficulties integrating into Irish society are compounded by obstacles they face accessing the labour market, a report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) says.

The report, published this morning, says refugees who have unrestricted access to the labour market supports face specific barriers participating in them. Among these are gaps in employment and education, lack of documentation, lack of social networks, low-self esteem and trauma.

Ireland has not developed a system of labour market supports targeted at refugees, the report says.

As the numbers seeking asylum here increases, the issue of integration will become more pressing. Between 2014 and 2015, the number granted protection increased by 29 per cent, from 600 to 773. Last year, the Government undertook to further increase intake of resettled refugees.

The ESRI is the national contact point for the European Migration Network. The report looks at the labour market integration supports that are available here.

Specific supports

Report author, Emma Quinn, said employment was “critical to integration”, as it enabled refugees to live independently and contribute, making them more likely to be accepted by the “host society”.