Construction workers
20 June 2019

Scheme for the professional integration of refugees

On World Refugee Day, Muriel Pénicaud, Minister of Labour and Christophe Castaner, Minister of the Interior, visited the Association for Adult Vocational Training (AFPA) centre in Ris-Orangis. Their visit was an opportunity to promote the HOPE scheme for the professional integration of refugees.
 
This year, the scheme is supporting 1,500 refugees to integrate through work, in sectors where there is a need for recruitment. This is considered a model initiative, taking as it does a comprehensive approach to integration, based on partnership. This positive system benefits refugees, businesses and republican integration alike.

At the end of eight months of training, more than 250 companies offer refugees opportunities in 25 different professional areas (such as construction and civil engineering, transport and food).

In France, immigration policy is structured around two pillars:
  • on one hand, the reception and integration under the best conditions of those intending to reside legally in France, particularly those who have been granted protection,
  • on the other, the fight against illegal immigration and those who perpetuate it by exploiting human misery.
Integration is therefore a key priority for the Government, which has made several strong commitments in order to achieve it.

Thus, the integration process for newcomers has been overhauled and new provisions came into force on 1st March 2019, with the doubling of the number of hours dedicated to French and civic education and with support for professional integration. Every year, 100,000 people benefit from this.

As part of this new approach, a strategy for receiving refugees is being implemented which covers all aspects, since integration consists of a whole package: vocational and language training, access to employment, healthcare and long-term housing, with a target of providing 16,000 homes in 2019, which is twice as many as in 2018.

In terms of employment and training, efforts are being stepped up with the provision of numerous professional integration programmes for refugees – including the HOPE scheme.

In 2018, 46,838 adults and minors were granted protection in France. In total, 250,000 people are currently protected in France.

As part of the Skills Investment Plan (PIC), the Ministry of Labour provides financial assistance for training and socio-professional support for the integration of refugees. By 2022, the PIC will allocate €63 million through HOPE to promote employment opportunities for refugees. To this end, a call for projects for the "Professional Integration of Refugees" was launched at the end of 2018. 18 project leaders were selected as winners in January 2019 and more winners are due to be announced very soon.