Background & context
In 2018, Spain again broke its historic record of 54,065 asylum applications, becoming the fourth country regarding asylum applications in the entire EU for the first time. For the third year running, Venezuela was the country of origin with the greatest number of international protection applicants in Spain: 19,280 applications. Next was Colombia (8,650), then Syria (2,775), Honduras (2,410) and El Salvador (2,275).
One of the greatest challenges for the newcomers is their insertion into the job market, which is directly bound to the deadlines and the final decision from the investigation into their international protection application. However, even when granted a work permit, finding work remains very difficult for people with a migration background. They may struggle with psychosocial issues which prevents them from participating in the labour market, but often, they also have to deal with other types of issues. For instance, there is a possibility that their diploma is not valid inside Europe, or that they don’t have sufficient education too access a stable and well-paid job. And, if they want to follow education to prepare themselves better for new job opportunities, they often do not have the economic means to pay for a course or a university degree.
This is not only noticeable inside Spain, but all throughout Europe, migrants face the same challenges, resulting in significant lower employment rates of people with a migration background compared to Europe-born people. The average employment rate of working non-EU migrants residing in the EU was 55% in 2017, against 68% of the host-country nationals. At the same time, they endure unfavourable outcomes in education, skills and social inclusion: 39% of third-country nationals (or 5.7 million) live in relative poverty, over twice the rate for EU nationals (17%). According to the EU, the main causes for these challenges are as follows:
  1. 1.
    A backlog in education;
  2. 2.
    Uneven access to employment;
  3. 3.
    A lack of decent housing and social services;
  4. 4.
    In the case of highly educated migrants: too many mismatching jobs and/or academic overqualification.
At the same time, Europe is facing what is called a ‘Digital Skills Crisis’: the demand for high-tech skills is on a solid growth track, and the latest estimate of the gap between demand and supply is 500,000 in 2020. Of all the needed IT skills, the second highest desired skill (75%) is knowledge about programming and app development. As new roles emerge and skills requirements change, the size of the existing pool of skilled workers just isn’t going to be big enough to meet the demand.
Therefore, it is stated by various sources that businesses must develop new approaches to workforce development for those outside of traditional talent pools. By hiring people from diverse backgrounds, including young people, minority groups and those without a college education, businesses can tap into a huge pool of high-potential and underutilised talent.
In other words, the project is in line with broader developments in European societies, where on the one hand, tech industries are in high need of skilled people who have the capabilities to code, create and develop, while on the other hand, many newcomers arrive in Europe on a daily basis, looking for new opportunities in life. Migracode has made it its main objective to fill the gap between these two developments, by supplying the demand for skills through free tech education for the newcomers who are open for a new career path.
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