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Immigration vote ‘Swiss first’ job registration scheme a success, says report

construction site

Workers on a construction site in Bern

(© Keystone / Peter Klaunzer)

The requirement for employers to register vacancies with regional unemployment centres, introduced following a vote to limit the number of workers from the EU, is going better than expected, officials say. 

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said on Fridayexternal link that around 200,000 jobs had been advertised with the centres over the period of a year.  

“The number of jobs registered is almost three times more than what was expected before this measure was introduced,” SECO said in a statement. Over 80% of the jobs posted were in the catering/hotels, construction and manufacturing sectors. 

Since July 2018 companies have been obliged to register vacancies with the centres for occupations where the national unemployment rate is at least 8%. This affects around one in ten job vacancies. The threshold will be lowered to 5% from January 2020. 

This SECO video shows how the practice works. 

seco video

SECO video on job registration

Mass immigration initiative  

The move was introduced after the adoption of the controversial “against mass immigration initiative” by Swiss voters in 2014, which sought to limit the number of workers from the EU coming to Switzerland.  

The final outcome was the result of walking the extremely fine line between honouring the wishes of the voters, while simultaneously preserving bilateral relations with the European Union, which could be threatened if Switzerland were to enact immigration quotas. 

+ Read more about the against mass immigration vote hereexternal link 

SECO’s report found that the administrative procedures between employers, private job placement agencies and centres were running smoothly. The higher than expected number of registered jobs showed that the measure was largely accepted by companies, SECO said in a statement.  

Jobs found 

The regional unemployment centres checked more that 98% of jobs within a day and posted them on the portal,external link which gives job seekers signed up to it a five-day head start over others who are looking for work as these jobs are not advertised elsewhere during this time.  

The centres can also send a list of jobseekers with a matching profile to the employer: and in this case, they sent dossiers to employers in more than half of the jobs announced. Around 4,800 job seekers found a eventually found a post through this method, a number that does not include those who found employment though consulting directly. 


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