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31 Mär. 2024

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Problems with the Employment of Ukrainians in Switzerland: what changes do the authorities propose after two years of protection?

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Problems with the Employment of Ukrainians in Switzerland: what changes do the authorities propose after two years of protection?

After two years of protection, Ukrainians in Switzerland can expect different prospects. First of all, the procedures for integration into the labor market will be simplified. Learn more about the changes to expect and what will contribute to more effective support and adaptation of Ukrainian citizens in Switzerland

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
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Switzerland activated the S protection status back in 2022 for refugees from Ukraine. The government is currently planning a number of measures to attract Ukrainians to employment.


Local authorities are focusing on studying the employment of Ukrainians who are not registered at the employment center and do not work officially, swissinfo.ch reports.

Read here how to change the canton or renounce S status in Switzerland.


Please note! To ensure a safe stay abroad, you should take care of reliable health insurance in advance, which will not only help you maintain your health, but also protect you from unforeseen expenses. You can take out an insurance policy that covers emergency medical care in case of illnesses and accidents, as well as inpatient and outpatient care around the world on the Visit Ukraine website. In addition, on our portal, you can immediately apply for car insurance - the Green Card, which is mandatory in 50 countries, including the EU.

What does Switzerland offer for Ukrainian refugees after two years of protection?


Ukrainians will be involved in work


Ukrainian citizens who have been granted protection status in Switzerland are entitled to social assistance and employment opportunities. Currently, 66 thousand Ukrainians have this status. However, the Federal Council plans to focus on increasing their employment rate.


Only 20% of able-bodied Ukrainian refugees have managed to find a job, although some industries have a labor shortage. At the same time, Ukrainian refugees often have a high level of education.

In November 2023, the Swiss authorities announced their intention to double the employment rate among Ukrainian refugees to 40% by the end of 2024. These issues were discussed at a specialized conference in Bern in mid-March, organized by the National Center for Research on Migration and Mobility and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Simplifying the process of integration of Ukrainians into the Swiss labor market


In March 2024, both houses of parliament adopted a proposal to replace the requirement to obtain a work permit with online registration with notification of the workplace.


At the same time, employers have expressed a desire to have more clarity on the future of refugees to understand how long they plan to spend in the country and to be able to receive warnings from the authorities regarding decisions in this regard.


One canton has developed its own approach to this problem. In the French-speaking canton of Vaud, the employment rate of Ukrainians is only 10%, which is significantly lower than the average rate in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.


According to local MP Isabelle More, Ukrainians, unlike other refugees, do not intend to stay in Switzerland permanently. Therefore, this canton focuses on short-term training programs that last only a few weeks, after which people can immediately start working.


For example, in cooperation with the GastroVaud association, a pilot project is being implemented to recruit workers in the catering industry.


"This approach is especially important in sectors where there is a significant turnover of personnel," emphasized More.




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What obstacles to employment do Ukrainians face in Switzerland?


The problems that Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland face when looking for a job are diverse and include the non-recognition of their professional qualifications and diplomas, as well as the language barrier. 


The Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Switzerland, Andriy Lushnytsky, explains that many refugees were not prepared for a long war and did not consider it necessary to take language courses or change their professional field.


Non-recognition of diplomas and qualifications means that refugees have to start from scratch in their job search, even if they have considerable experience in their home country. Lack of communication and information also plays an important role, as many refugees are unaware of opportunities and vacancies on the Swiss labor market.


To address these issues, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) plans to implement a whole package of measures that will include various proposals and initiatives. Among them will be active communication with employers and refugees, as well as the use of social networks and Ukrainian-language media to disseminate information. This will help increase the amount of information about opportunities for Ukrainian refugees and facilitate their integration into Swiss society and the labor market.

Traveling outside of Switzerland for Ukrainians with S status. When it is necessary to notify SEM and EVAM - read here.


People in Switzerland do not know what refugees do


According to Isabelle More, local authorities do not know what Ukrainian refugees are doing. She believes that all refugees should do something, but it doesn't have to be work. Children should go to school, young people should get higher education. Those who have physical or psychological injuries should receive help, not work. Language courses are also important.

According to her, 3,600 Ukrainians aged 18 to 65 live in the canton of Vaud. But the authorities do not know what 2000 of them are doing. They are not registered with employment centers and have not applied for work permits.


"Perhaps they work remotely for Ukrainian companies or perhaps they are studying without official knowledge," the MP said.


It is emphasized that these 2000 people were invited to register to receive information about their situation. This will allow to provide them with individualized assistance. Those who do not show up will be punished with a fine. However, such measures are not intended to force people to work.


We remind you! Citizens of Ukraine who have been granted temporary protection status in Switzerland can register a car for free. Learn more about how to do this and what documents are required.


Photo: KEYSTONE/© KEYSTONE / ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE

Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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