Expat women are finding jobs hard to come by in Switzerland – especially if they have young children and lack qualifications.
Research by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows most expats easily find work in the country – but some groups are left behind.
The report highlights that more than a quarter of Swiss workers are expats (27%), which is a high proportion in relation other OECD countries, with expat employment rates almost matching that of Swiss-born workers.
However, many expats bringing in degrees from outside Switzerland are over-qualified for their jobs because the Swiss do not recognise the qualifications.
The OECD recommends the Swiss should put a program in place to rectify this problem.
12 year wait for citizenship
“A more transparent recognition process and improved information about the benefits of obtaining such recognition would potentially increase the number of migrants obtaining certification and finding a more suitable job afterwards,” said the OECD.
“Women from lower income countries with young children barely benefit from targeted integration measures and do not have sufficient access to the full range of active labour market policy tools.
“There are signs that the labour market participation of immigrant women with young children has declined in recent years. Likewise, recent humanitarian migrants have difficulties finding work, more so than previous groups of humanitarian migrants.”
The report also suggests access to Swiss nationality is another means that could provide an impetus for the integration of immigrants.
Evidence from other OECD countries suggests that naturalisation often leads to better integration, but access to nationality is much more difficult in Switzerland than in other OECD countries as immigrants generally need to have lived in Switzerland for a minimum of 12 years before they can apply.
Switzerland also lacks anti-discrimination policies.
Expat children face discrimination
OECD research indicates that expat children with an otherwise equivalent CV need to submit up to five times the number of applications filed by natives in order to get invited to a job interview.
“The institutional framework to tackle discrimination urgently needs strengthening. In addition, awareness of the issue of discrimination should be raised amongst employers and the general public,” said the report.
“The federalist character is clearly visible in the Swiss integration policy with integration measures which vary widely on a cantonal and local level. Although considerable improvements have been made over the past decade, stronger policy co-ordination within the country could boost the efficiency of integration efforts.”