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Given a chance Qualified refugees find new paths to jobs

The job prospects for qualified refugees in Switzerland are poor. Many are on welfare, even after living in the country for years. A PR agency in Zurich wants to draw attention to the untapped potential of qualified refugees and has taken on a refugee as a member of its own staff. (SRF/

Speaking at an integration conference earlier this year, Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga laid out the advantages of better integrating refugees in the job market. 

“If you have a job, you don’t need welfare,” she said. 

The justice and finance ministries, along with three cantonal government conferences, set out to define a more concrete plan and budget for such integration while determining how to better utilise the professional potential of refugees. 

A 2014 study from the United Nations agency UNHCR showed that, despite many training offerings at a cantonal level, only about one in five refugees had found work in the first five years after their arrival, during which time the federal government is still legally responsible for them.

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