A meeting on the integration of third-country nationals living in EU member states into the bloc’s labor market was held on Monday, January 24, 2022.
During the meeting, which was attended by European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, French Minister Delegate for Integration Brigitte Klinkert, as well as Chief of Staff of the French Ministry of the Interior Sebastien Gallet, it was discussed facilitating the obstacles facing third-country nationals living in the European Union, especially for highly skilled people.
About 20 million migrants live legally in the European Union today, out of 450 million Europeans. Altogether, member states issue around three million residence permits each year. An enormous pool of talent. We are not taking advantage of it properly,” Commissioner Johansson said at the start of the meeting.
It also noted that in 2020, while the employment rate for people born in the European Union was close to 75 percent, for people born outside the European Union, the rate was much lower, at 62 percent, TheSchengen.com reports.
In a press release issued after the meeting, the French Ministry of the Interior indicated that France is already working to integrate foreigners into the labor market through the following:
Renewal of the Republican Integration Contract (CIR) and the renewed partnership between the French Office for Immigration and Integration and the Public Employment Service, the Comprehensive and Individual Support Program for the Integration of Refugees (AGIR), the promotion of language learning and a training day dedicated to employment;
The ministry also highlights that France has simplified and modernized the procedures for obtaining a “talent passport”, a residence permit aimed at highly qualified non-European citizens.
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At the same time, the country has enabled 1,2012 health professionals, security agents, child care workers, cashiers, home helpers, garbage collectors, and other foreigners working in front-line jobs amid COVID-19, to obtain French citizenship through expedited procedures. Until September last year.
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During her speech at Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Johansson also brought up the move, praising France for its determination to reward hard-working foreigners, and calling on more member states to follow suit.
She also provided more statistics on the EU’s need for more foreign workers, noting that 2.5 per cent of jobs in the entire EU are now vacant.
“In the Czech Republic and Belgium, about five per cent and in the Netherlands four per cent. Jobs are there. But skills are not. Seven out of ten companies have difficulty finding people with the right skills,” she said.
The commissioner shared her concerns that Europe is losing the global race for talent, noting that highly educated immigrants prefer North America, Australia and New Zealand rather than Europe.
Europe needs IT professionals, doctors, engineers, chemists and teachers. We also need cooks, plumbers, truck drivers, welders, masons, electricians and carpenters. 21 EU member states have reported a shortage of nurses,” the commissioner said.
On Monday, TheSchengen.com reported that Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck, announced that Germany needs 400,000 qualified workers from other countries in order to fill employment gaps in critical sectors hit hard by the outbreak. from the Corona virus.
In June last year, the EU Commission launched the Talent Partnerships Initiative under the new Immigration and Asylum Pact, in a bid to attract more workers from third countries to come to the EU and fill vacancies that EU citizens cannot fill.