Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mentoring Practices in Europe and North America: Strategies for Improving Immigrants' Employment Outcomes


For many countries in Europe and North America, the labor market outcomes of immigrant populations are worse than those of the native population. In addition, young adults and the low-skilled have been hit hardest by the economic crisis: among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, 26 percent of foreign-born youth and 20 percent of native-born youth are not in employment, education, or training. For highly skilled immigrants who do not enter an OECD country through a labor migration scheme, the pathway to suitable employment may not be straightforward, in which case mentoring initiatives can help new immigrants overcome the challenges posed by recognition of qualifications and lack of professional networks.

This report, commissioned of MPI Europe by the King Baudouin Foundation, highlights a number of relevant "classic" one-on-one mentoring practices in Europe and North America, focusing on the role of different initiators and stakeholders, forms of collaboration, methods, and target groups. It focuses exclusively on apprenticeship and business or employment-related mentoring efforts that aim to generate sustained employment. The report also provides a case study of mentoring practices in Belgium, where the unemployment rate of people with an immigrant background is significantly higher than that of the native born. Finally, the report summarizes a number of key "ingredients," or elements, that several promising mentoring initiatives share.


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