EC moves to help professionally qualified Ukrainian refugees access jobs in the EU

The European Commission (EC) has published a recommendation on the recognition of academic and professional qualifications for people fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EC said on April 6.

It will provide EU countries’ authorities with guidance and practical advice to ensure a quick, fair and flexible recognition process, the EC said.

“As a result of the unprovoked Russian military aggression and invasion, over four million people fleeing the war and seeking protection, have arrived in the EU,” the Commission said.

“After addressing their immediate needs, such as shelter and healthcare, it is vital for the well-being of refugees and their integration in the host countries that they have, amongst other rights, access to jobs they are qualified for,” it said.

To support EU countries in the quick, fair and flexible recognition of qualifications, the Commission has taken a number of actions, including:

  • At the request of the Commission, the European Training Foundation has created a resource hub on Ukrainian qualifications where information can be shared. Comprehensive information sharing and transparency between Member States will be key to enable fast track procedures.
  • To facilitate dealing with the language barrier, the eTranslation tool developed by the Commission has been adapted to meet the demand for quick and reliable translation from Ukrainian. Translation from Russian is also possible and can be useful, given that many professionals in Ukraine obtained their diplomas in Russian.
  • People fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have been forced to leave without their original documentation of qualifications. This requires a flexible approach on how to assess recognition applications in such a case, including the option of reissuing diplomas in a digital format.

The EC said that experience shows that refugees often work below their qualification level and are at risk of poor working conditions.

“This is especially the case for women, who represent a high proportion of the refugees,” the EC said.

Providing a simple and rapid qualifications recognition mechanism contributes strongly to avoiding that, the Commission said.

It ensures that people granted temporary protection can work in jobs they are qualified for.

The recommendation addresses the access of those fleeing the war to regulated professions, which include nurses, general practitioners and – depending on the member state – teachers and educational staff.

“With the inflow of people fleeing war, there is a greater need for those professions, as refugees need access to healthcare, childcare and education – often in their own language,” the EC said.

“Facilitating the recognition of academic and professional qualifications can therefore help ensure that incoming professionals can work quickly and support their compatriots.”

It also ensures people gain relevant experience and skills during their period of temporary protection, which adds value to their qualifications when returning to the home country, the Commission said.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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