More asylum seekers find work in Switzerland

Asylum seekers clean a park in Biasca, canton Ticino, in 2017 Keystone / Francesca Agosta

Over one-third of all asylum seekers and refugees in Switzerland are currently employed, according to State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) figures. But most of the jobs are precarious and the vast majority continue to receive state benefits.

This content was published on April 28, 2019 - 15:21
Keystone SDA/sb

In one year, the employment rate for asylum seekers in Switzerland rose from 27% in March 2018 to 32% today, according to a report by the Ostschweiz and Zentralschweiz am Sonntag newspapers that cite recent SEM data. 

This translates into an additional 5,000 asylum seekers in employment in one year.

Among those who have been provisionally admitted to the country, the employment rate rose from 31% to over 37% in one year. 

The SEM says this growth is essentially the result of more integration measures. It highlights the introduction of so-called pre-apprenticeship courses for one year to selected refugees and asylum seekers in 18 out of 26 cantons to help with their integration. The aim is to prepare those with labour market potential for a full apprenticeship. 

But simplified employment procedures for employers and a greater willingness from communal authorities to help asylum seekers find work are also making a difference. 

Nevertheless, most of the jobs on offer are low paid and do not allow asylum seekers to become financially independent. In 2017, 86% of asylum seekers and refugees received state benefits.

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