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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Research The Labor Market Integration of Refugees (LMIR) Projects

Realistic tolerance training for employers

This project develops trainings to prepare Dutch employers to hire and work with newcomers: ‘Dealing with cultural diversity, training for realistic tolerance at the workplace’.

Employers need preparation too

Finding a job and being able to develop a new life is not only very important for the wellbeing of migrants but also for the host society. Sustainable integration is a two-way street: it requires efforts of the migrants and preparedness from employers and public institutions. However, a study conducted in the Netherlands showed a rather shocking result. Only 25% of the refugees who had arrived in 2014 and received a residence permit have found a paid job in 4 years (CBS, 2019). Newcomers receive language training and sometimes an introduction to the labour market but employers are hardly prepared. This is why we developed an action-based training in which employers learn to develop skills to effectively deal with cultural differences and help to integrate newcomers at the workplace.

Combining academic knowledge and field experience

Interestingly, a recent meta-analysis of 40 years ‘diversity training’ research showed that these trainings had little impact on creating an inclusive work climate. The only thing that seems to change people’s attitudes and behavior towards such a work climate is increasing the awareness of cultural differences and stimulating skills to deal with them (Bezrukova et al. 2016). Milka Yemane [ , founder of Stichting Lemat , and RUG colleagues Nina Hansen, Liesbet Heyse and Marloes Huis combined their expertise on theories, methods and relevant experience from the field to develop one concrete solution to improve the labour market integration of newcomers. Starting from a more realistic perspective of tolerance that acknowledges the tensions that may arise from cultural differences and miscommunication. Participants of our training learn to have the perspective of a newcomer and to apply a set of communication strategies to use in their daily work. Participants develop concrete goals on how they want to implement these new insights in their daily work. The team has evelated the effectiveness of this training.

A blog:

Training evaluation is currently prepared for publication.

This project was funded by a grant from the Start Impuls of the Dutch Science Agenda (NWA) for Nina Hansen and Liesbet Heyse.

Last modified:02 December 2020 7.18 p.m.
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