Equal opportunities for migrants and the socially disadvantaged
Well-educated migrants from non-EU countries face numerous obstacles on the Swiss job market and hence are often jobless or engaged in work unrelated to their profession. Through several projects and campaigns, HEKS/EPER promotes the chances of migrants while job-hunting and in daily working life. HEKS/EPER also facilitates asylum seekers, sans-papiers and other disadvantaged groups in claiming their rights and taking part in social and professional life on an equitable basis.
Well educated migrants with potential
The prognosis in political and business circles is that the Swiss job market could face a growing skills shortage in the coming years. Professionally well-qualified migrants could be part of the answer. Unfortunately, still far too little use is being made their potential. The underlying reasons include stereotypical prejudices on the part of employers, language problems or even difficulty in comparing professional qualifications and diplomas.
Advice and support
Those most affected are people from EU non-member countries. They are at a disadvantage on the Swiss labour market and are much less likely to find a job that matches their professional qualifications. This also represents a significant loss of valuable expertise to the Swiss economy. HEKS/EPER therefore uses projects such as «MosaiQ» to advise and support well-educated migrants in matters such as qualification recognition, catch-up education and practical skills assessment.
Patrick Gilliéron Lopreno
Loss of social security
Switzerland too is witnessing a steady increase in the number of people finding themselves marginalized and hence socially deprived, owing to their social background or ethnicity, their age, gender or religion or a difficult personal situation. Moreover, greater job market flexibility has also led to a loss of social security. Many have lost their jobs, others earn too little to be able to afford more than the bare essentials.
Inclusion rather than marginalization
People with a migrant background face further problems like poor language skills or ignorance of Switzerland's cultural and social specificities. HEKS/EPER supports these people and gives them the skills needed to participate in social life. In so doing, HEKS/EPER focuses on job market integration and employment programmes, language and educational courses, early childhood support and working with parents, intercultural interpreting and mediation, and home support services.
HEKS KICK is a project for job seeking youths (16 to 20 years of age) and young adults (up to 25 years of age) from the regions of Oberaargau and Emmental.