After their arrival in Switzerland, migrants are faced with their integration into working life. Not all migrants start under the same conditions and thus encounter different obstacles to accessing education and the labour market.
Education and requests for equivalence
19% of people aged between 15 and 74 with upper secondary qualifications were trained abroad. Although only 1% of the population without a migration background and 5% of persons from the 2nd generation were trained abroad, this was the case for 68% of persons from the 1st generation.
Few people trained abroad make use of the possibility of having their foreign diploma recognised by Switzerland. 15% request equivalence and 83% do not. 2% provide no information about any such requests. 13% of people with upper secondary level and 15% of those with tertiary level make such a request.
Nearly three quarters of those who made a request said that they had obtained the equivalence. The number of people that state they obtained an equivalence is greater among persons with tertiary education than those with upper secondary education. However, this difference is not statistically significant. 72% of persons who did not request equivalence thought they did not need it to carry out their job and 7% thought that the procedure was too complicated, too expensive or too time-consuming. The remaining 21% cite other reasons.
|Equivalence not obtained||19.2
|Equivalence not necessary
|Process too complicated
Within the first generation of the population with a migration background who came to Switzerland for professional reasons (self-reported), 68% had already found a job in this country before immigrating. 31% of people who came to Switzerland for the same reason had not found a job prior to arrival.
The rate of persons migrating for professional reasons who had already found a job prior to arrival on Switzerland varies in accordance with the level of education: this rate was 83% for persons having completed tertiary-level education and training, 66% for those with upper secondary level education and 49% for those having completed compulsory education without any further training.
Significant differences can also be observed according to nationality. 73% of EU28-EFTA nationals arrive with an employment contract, compared with 42% of nationals from other European countries and 60% of nationals of countries outside Europe.
Language skills have considerable influence on the type of activities that migrants can engage in, especially on the labour market but also in terms of their successful integration into society. A good command of one of Switzerland’s national languages can be seen as both an essential requirement and as the result of successful integration.
In 2014, the majority of the permanent resident population aged 15 to 74 who were born abroad had either mother tongue or advanced language skills in one of the official languages of their canton of residence (62%).
Swiss and EU-28 and EFTA nationals are more likely to have mother tongue or advanced level oral language skills in one of the official languages of the canton they live in (81% and 71% respectively compared with just over 40% for the other nationality groups).
In 2017, 60% of the permanent resident population aged 15 to 74 who immigrated to Switzerland after the age of 4 had oral language skills in one of the national languages prior to arriving in Switzerland.
Language skills: Percentage of the permanent resident population aged 15 to 74 who were born abroad with oral language skills in one of the official languages of their canton of residence:
- Beginner or no oral language skills;
- Mother tongue or advanced.