Fostering skills-recognition and labour market access of non-EU migrants and refugees in the Netherlands: The clash between neoliberal and humanitarian policy agendas

Pascal Beckers, Radboud University

The presentation will be based on work in the EU DIVERSE project and the EU Skills2Work project 

For European countries to keep their competitive edge as internationally-oriented knowledge economies, it is essential that individual skills and competences of all workers are fully used in the labour market. In the progression of globalisation, this involves an ever larger number of Third Countries Nationals (TCNs) – people not holding citizenship of an EU country, including many refugees. Despite the important contributions of migrants to the European economies, this group is often perceived as having subordinate professional skills and competences compared to natives, which results in their talents not being fully used. Particularly TCNs experience barriers in accessing the labour market and in their further professional development.

In this seminar, the project findings for the Netherlands of the EU funded DIVERSE and Skills2Work projects are presented. This entails an examination of the institutional arrangements, practices and outcomes related to the recognition of skills, knowledge and competencies (SKC) of non-EU foreign nationals (TCNs) in the Netherlands with specific reference to the Dutch healthcare sector. Although the national infrastructure for foreign recognition of educational and professional qualifications is well-developed by international standards, the system has a number of flaws as interviews with TCNs and experts in the field reveal. TCNs often discover that their qualifications are not considered equivalent to the relevant Dutch qualifications. Given the limitations of formally recognizing the educational qualifications or work experience of TCNs, Dutch policies have supported other measures, including the accreditation and recognition of prior learning (RPL). However, these too have proved challenging to implement. Some of the policy and theoretical implications flowing from this will be discussed.

 



About the speaker

Pascal Beckers is an international business economist and human geographer, with special expertise in Economics, Migration and Integration, and Urban Studies. He has both academic as well as professional experience in the fields. 
His expertise in Economics, Migration and Integration and Urban Studies stems from his PhD work on migrant integration in the Netherlands, his prior function at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and his current function as Assistant Professor in Geography and Planning at the Radboud University Nijmegen. At the PBL he coordinated and conducted research on business spatial needs forecasting and urban change in the Netherlands. At the Radboud University he teaches Research Methods and Economic Geography and carries out research on migrant integration, employment and housing. 
Pascal Beckers has work experience in teaching and supervision at various academic levels and in different languages, English, Germany, Dutch, Spanish. He also has a background in small business consultancy and management in Peru, the 
Netherlands and Germany.



Venue: 0.16/0.17

Date: 28 March 2018

Time: 12:00 - 13:00