Reports 2015/36

The introduction programme of newly arrived immigrants – a study of results

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The report presents results from an analysis of 13 715 refugees who either completed or left the mandatory introduction programme for newly arrived immigrants between 2007 and 2011 and were registered as resident in the country the following year. The aim of the study – based on data from KOSTRA and Statistics Norway’s population statistics system – is to identify factors associated with an outcome in employment and/or education in the month of November one and two years after quitting the programme.

The share of refugees that were in employment and/or education the year after completing or leaving the introduction programme was 62.9 per cent. This figure is made up of 41 per cent solely in employment, 10 per cent in both employment and education, and 12 per cent solely in education. Two years after the introduction programme, the corresponding share was 63.5 per cent, consisting of 43 per cent employed, 11 per cent employed and in education, and 9 per cent in education only.

The propensity to be in employment and/or education tends to decrease with age. Men are more likely to be in employment and/or education than women, with a share of 70 and 55 per cent respectively one year after programme. The results also vary considerably according to country background (country of birth). Compared to refugees from Eastern Europe outside the EU/EEA (except Russia), the probability of being in employment and/or education is higher for refugees from Ethiopia and Eritrea and lower for refugees from Palestine, Somalia, Iraq and Russia.

Educational level, marital status, reason for immigration and the year an immigrant completed or left the programme (the cohort) also have an impact on the result. Upper secondary and higher education are linked to a greater likelihood of being in employment/education. The propensity to be in employment and/or education is roughly equal whether a refugee is married or unmarried, but lower among women who are separated, divorced or widowed. It is also lower among resettlement refugees, while the prospects for refugees with a background as an asylum seeker are more favourable.

Among the programme-specific variables, immigrants who left the programme due to moving, non-attendance, sickness/leave of absence, or “other causes”, have a lesser chance of being in employment and/or education the year after leaving the programme than immigrants who completed the programme. Persons participating in activities or courses classified as “work”, “approval of education”, “primary and lower secondary education” and “subjects in upper secondary education” are more likely to be in employment/education.

The most important municipal-specific factor is the local unemployment. The lower the level of unemployment in the municipality where the refugee lives at the time of measurement, the higher the chance that the refugee will be in employment and/or education. It is also beneficial that the municipality has a college or university within its borders. Municipalities with a population of between 2 000 and 10 000 perform slightly better than other municipalities.

When the share of refugees in employment and/or education is measured again two years after the end of the programme, roughly the same patterns reappear. At this point, 24 per cent reside in a different municipality to the municipality where the programme was held. Women tend to take longer to find a job/enrol in education than men; both age and length of residence would indicate this. Courses or activities in the programme are in some instances associated with a higher chance of employment/educational enrolment two years after the programme compared to after one year, in other instances not.

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