Migration and employment | MIGE

Séminaires pour spécialistes et cadres (SSC)

The topic

Enabling migrants to gain access to employment constitutes one of the greatest challenges involved in the management of a multicultural society. Indeed, having a job is a key element of the integration process. Nevertheless, numerous statistics demonstrate that the professional integration of migrants can be problematic. In Switzerland, as elsewhere in Europe, foreign nationals are over-represented among the beneficiaries of the principal social welfare schemes and they have relatively low employment rates. This is due to a series of factors including insufficient training, non-recognised qualifications, the lack of a network or discrimination on the part of employers.

This seminar will firstly aim to develop an understanding of the disadvantages which migrants face on the employment market. Secondly, it will examine the instruments which can be used to deal with this situation, particularly measures for promoting professional integration. The seminar will look at promising measures developed in Switzerland and abroad. Finally, the course will study the institutional aspects involved and whether the establishments responsible for social policy, the employment market and integration can work together to meet the challenge of integrating migrants into the labour force.

  • Understand the employment market situation faced by migrants;
  • Learn about the principal aspects of labour law with regards to migrants;
  • Acquire knowledge of the latest scientific research about the principal obstacles to migrant employment;
  • Identify the most promising measures for different sub-groups of migrants (examples of best practice).
Target audience
  • Professionals with responsibilities in the field of migration (Swiss State Secretariat for Migration, cantonal and city integration departments);
  • Professionals with responsibilities in the field of employment (Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, cantonal and regional employment offices);
  • Professionals responsible for designing and implementing integration measures within the framework of unemployment insurance, social welfare and invalidity insurance;
  • Professionals in the charitable sector in the field of integrating migrants into society.
2020 Speakers
  • Giuliano Bonoli, Professor, Social Policy Unit, IDHEAP, University of Lausanne
  • Matthieu Corbaz, Doctor of Law and lecturer, University of Lausanne
  • Martine Dang, Lawyer
  • Denise Efionayi-Maeder, Vice-Director, Forum for the Study of Migration, University of Neuchâtel
  • Flavia Fossati, Assistant Professor, Inequality and Integration Unit, IDHEAP, University of Lausanne
  • Frédéric Berthoud, International cooperation in training and professional qualifications, SERI
  • Thomas Fuhrimann, Vice-Director of the Professional Integration Section of the State Secretariat for Migration - SEM
  • Kathel Giacometti, Cantonal Integration Office (BCI), VD
  • Jérôme Rudaz, President HR Vaud

Other speakers will be announced later on the course site.

Topics covered
  1. The challenges of a multicultural society;
  2. The situation of migrants on Switzerland’s employment market;
  3. Legal aspects (work permits, asylum);
  4. The obstacles to employment facing migrants;
  5. Recognition of qualifications;
  6. Discrimination in the labour market;
  7. The most promising vocational reintegration measures;
  8. Coordination between different institutions and structures.
Teaching methods

The seminar combines theoretical inputs based on the very latest scientific research with practical examples from programmes to promote integration. The emphasis is put on the structure of these programmes and the evaluation of their effectiveness. The seminar also aims to be a venue for discussions between professionals and researchers. Specific time-slots have been dedicated to these exchanges.


Participants who actively take part in the whole seminar will be awarded a certificate of attendance by IDHEAP.

Registration fees
Practical information
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Course Manager:
Prof. Flavia Fossati
+41 21 692 69 10

Fatma Yavavli
+41 21 692 69 17

Rue de la Mouline 28 - CH-1022 Chavannes-près-Renens
Tel. +41 21 692 68 00
Fax +41 21 692 68 09