'Asylum seeker work yields billions'

This morning the report 'More Work Opportunities for Asylum Seekers' was published. It was immediately picked up by various media. What seems? Not only does working immediately yield a lot for asylum seekers themselves; it also generates billions for society.

The research, which was conducted on behalf of seven parties (RefugeeConnect, Microsoft, Ben & Jerry's, Ikea Netherlands, MPeople, Refugee Talent Hub, Untapped Talents and VluchtelingenWerk Nederland), shows that broader work opportunities for asylum seekers lead to major social benefits, while there are hardly any additional social costs.

Our director Wilma Roozenboom, about the report: " Some things are so obvious that you wonder whether an investigation is really necessary. If asylum seekers are allowed to work, it will yield more for our society than it costs. A no-brainer. And yet it is good that this research has been done. It is a solid and numerical substantiation of our plea to give asylum seekers every opportunity to work ."

The most important conclusions from the report:

  • Solution for the labor shortage: By allowing asylum seekers to work, the employer has faster access to talented candidates and people in the asylum procedure can make valuable use of their waiting time for their residence status and immediately use their talents.

  • Faster and better integration into society: Work contributes to faster integration into Dutch society. By supporting people in the asylum procedure in learning the language, building a professional network, and strengthening a sense of self-esteem and independence.

  • Substantial benefits for the government: The government will be able to collect more taxes on work and VAT, but will also have lower costs for shelter and assistance. This yields a total of 1.7 billion over 10 years. The last two elements are relevant for the COA (working asylum seekers contribute to the costs of their reception) and the municipalities (when people receive a residence status and continue to work, they are not dependent on social assistance).

  • Minimum costs: The study also looked at possible costs, including healthcare costs, costs for accommodation and reception and costs for social assistance benefits for status holders, but these appear to be negligible compared to the established benefits.

At Refugee Talent Hub we think it is very important that people with a refugee background get the right opportunities on the Dutch labor market. Because work is not just about making money. It provides structure, opportunities for social interaction and a sense of belonging. Moreover, employers with a diverse group of employees have been proven to be more successful and better prepared for the future. In addition, work offers the opportunity to integrate faster and better, to become self-reliant and to become a full part of Dutch society.

Read the full research here . Or see how the various media reported on the research: NRC , Volkskrant , Nederlands Dagblad , Hart van Nederland , BNR , Noord Hollands Dagblad , Algemeen Dagblad , Trouw