Reports 2014/15

Former participants in the introduction programme for newly arrived immigrants 2007-2011

Employment, education and income

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The Introduction programme for new immigrants is an integration policy initiative that all Norwegian municipalities are obliged to offer newly arrived refugees according to the Introduction Act (Act of 4 July 2003 No. 80). Norwegian language training and social studies are the main activities, along with work-experience and vocational guidance. The Introduction programme for new immigrants is an important tool for municipalities in their work to integrate newly arrived refugees. Since 2010, the government’s policy has been that at least 70 percent of all previous participants of the Introduction programme should be employed or in education one year after ending the programme.

This report describes the activities of those who ended the Introduction programme in the years 2007 to 2011. We describe their participation in employment and further education, as well as their income situation one year after completing or discontinuing the Introduction programme, and then annually until 2012.

The numbers presented in this publication differ from those previously published for those ending the programme in the years 2007 to 2010. The numbers have been revised in order to improve the data quality. The revision has ensured that the transition to employment or further education is only measured among those who have de facto completed or ended the Introduction programme. For instance, women on maternity leave during or after the programme are not available for the labor marked during the leave. Compared to previously published material, the revision has resulted in a higher proportion of persons who have continued on to further education or employment, particularly for women.

In 2012, 63 percent of those who ended the programme in 2011 were employed or in education. That is two percentage points higher than for those who left the Introduction programme in 2010. Those who completed the programme in 2009 or 2008 have a similar transition rate in 2012, slightly higher for those who completed the programme in 2008 (65 percent). The proportion of women in employment and education is significantly lower than for men. Among women who completed or discontinued in 2011, 53 percent are employed and in education after one year. However, among men more than 70 percent were employed and in education.

The income situation does not vary much with year of completion of the programme. The incomes become more similar with time. The level of income is relatively similar if we take into account the number of years since ending the Introduction programme. For example, persons aged 20 to 50 years who ended the Introduction programme in 2011 had an income level that was 60 per cent of the level of the entire population in the same age group. Those who left the programme five years earlier had an income level that was 66 percent of the level of the entire population.

Income from work gives an indication of attachment to the labor market and indicates whether the households manage to support themselves. Income from work increases for all in the years after the end of the Introduction programme. There is some decrease in social support such as social assistance, dwelling support and qualification benefits in the years after the end of the programme. Family-related support also decreases over the years. Scholarships constitute relatively large amounts of the total income in the first couple of years after the end of the programme, thereafter decreasing.

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