Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS has published a handbook on workplace integration. It was created with a goal to combine good practices of employers regarding workplace integration of newcomers and diversity management, as well to provide recommendations for national and Riga City policy makers on how to provide more effective support for newcomers. In addition to that, the handbook includes a compilation of resources for employers and newcomers regarding the integration support that is currently already available.
The recommendations in the handbook have been grouped into four categories and each of them are targeted towards one of the parties involved in the integration process:
1. For policy makers: How to improve the system for reception of newcomers?
2. For municipality: How can municipality support the integration of newcomers?
3. For employers: How to organise the integration of newcomers at the workplace?
4. For newcomers: Where can they find support during integration process?
Additional information about the project
As Latvia continues to integrate in the international community, the number of people who decide to move to Latvia both, from the European Union and other countries has been steadily increasing. Similarly, companies operating in Latvia are starting to look for employees in other countries when they are faced with labour shortages. More and more Latvians study and work abroad, and returning emigrants often move back together with their partners and families from other countries. To add to that, over the last decade Riga has experienced an increase in the number of foreign students. As a result of all of these trends, there are already around 50,000 foreign nationals in Riga, and this number is expected to increase in the future.
Yet often employers themselves create the main support system for newcomers as they not only help to deal with administrative formalities regarding immigration and commencement of work, but also provide support regarding practical issues that people face when starting their new life in a different country.
PROVIDUS analysed the current situation primarily through interviews with employers and newcomers in Latvia. First, interviews with company representatives who currently employ or plan on employing foreign workers were carried out. In addition, other country nationals who currently reside in Latvia were interviewed in two focus groups. Finally, information on available integration support measures was collected based on the challenges identified during the in-depth interviews and focus groups. By combining good practice of employers, available information resources about the implemented integration support measures, experience of other countries, and studies and recommendations about other country nationals and their situation in Latvia, recommendations on how to facilitate workplace integration have been compiled in this handbook. The results from the project were presented during a public event on October 10.
The project is financed in the framework of the Society integration programme by the Riga municipality Education, culture and sports department.