Integration of Immigrants in the Labour Market

By: Silvia Annen  

The following research derives from a project, which investigates the usability of foreign qualifications and work experience in the German and Canadian labour market by using a mixed methods approach (quantitative analyses of the PIAAC data; case studies). The analysis focuses on the strategies and rationales of employers and employees within the recruiting process. The signaling and the screening approach, the Bourdieusian concept of social and cultural capital, as well as the concept of social closure build the theoretical references. This paper focuses on the German in contrast to the Canadian approach towards the recognition of foreign qualifications. Selected results of twelve case studies conducted in hospitals and ICT companies in both countries are presented. The results prove the assumption of a more difficult access to the labour market within the health sector than within the ICT sector, primarily due to the stronger regulations in health. Furthermore, the results give insights that the labor market access in the health sector is strongly depending on formal qualifications while work experience is an essential prerequisite to enter the ICT-labor market. In the latter, recent work experience matters considerably due to the dynamic nature of the industry and the prevalence of innovation, while in the health sector the depth of work experience and subsequent routine building are valued. The investigations clearly indicate the high relevance of the national labour market situation on the recruiting processes and decisions. Besides, national migration laws highly affect the individuals’ recognition and integration process.

Labour Market Integration, International Recognition, Migration, Canada, Germany
Organizational Diversity
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Silvia Annen

Guest Researcher, Department for Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, University of Toronto (OISE)

Silvia Annen studied Business and Economics Education at the University of Cologne. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Social Sciences from the University of Cologne (dissertation topic: Recognition of competences – comparison of selected approaches in Europe). Her main research fields are comparative research in vocational education and training, recognition of competences and qualifications as well as occupational research in the commerce sector. After her graduation in 2005 she worked as a researcher at the Chair for Business Education of the University of Cologne and within a research-project on recognition of vocational qualifications and competences in a higher educational context. Since 2007, she is a research associate at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Bonn, Germany. Besides the development, implementation and evaluation of commercial and business service curricula for vocational education and training in the dual system and in further education she gained experience within different research-projects especially on the topic ‘recognition of qualifications and competences’. She is a member of the German-French expert commission for vocational education and training.