Migration and Work: challenges for inclusion

November 29, 2018
Communications Colunga Foundation

The Network of Intercultural Enterprises of the Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM), conformed with the support of the Colunga Foundation and the Avina Foundation, held a seminar to reflect on the different aspects regarding the labor inclusion of migrants. The activity, held at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Chile, brought together the public and private sectors and civil society.

The Network of Intercultural Companies is a space for meeting, reflection and advocacy that promotes inclusive and intercultural work spaces. "With the network we are developing an index of labor inclusion, which not only sees migrants, but excluded groups within companies. Work is not only for remuneration, it also dignifies and also one can expand its network and meet people through work. It is not just a search for a contract, it is a search for a home, "he said. José Tomás Vicuña, National Director of the Jesuit Migrant Service.

José Tomás Vicuña

"We bet on the Network of Intercultural Companies because we believe that work is the best way to support the families that come to our country. How can we make these families find ways of development and integration through employment? That is a challenge that invites us all, "he said. Arturo Celedón, Executive Director of the Colunga Foundation.

Arturo Celedón

Vision from companies, academia and government

From the business sector, Iris Silva, from the Diversity and Inclusion area of Sodimac, said that joining the network has allowed them to review their practices. Currently they have a manual for hiring migrants and constant internal training "that goes beyond solving administrative issues, but focuses on creating a better work environment," he said.

Ignacia Labbé, responsible for the Labor Program of SJM, commented in the seminar that 80% of the companies in the network have recognized that they have increased the hiring of migrants, and therefore it has been a positive impulse.

Ignacia Labbé and Iris Silva

While, from the academy, Jaime Ruiz Tagle, Director of the Department of Economy FEN, gave interesting data for analysis: Immigrants would have a higher level of human capital than the average of the local population; The greatest concentration of immigrants is found in the Metropolitan Region (RM); In relation to the total population of the MRI, the number of immigrants is even lower, which implies low or zero impacts on the local labor market. Anyway, stressed that it is very necessary to have a better quality of administrative data and more current to continue studying the situation, since the figures that are handled today come from the Casen 2015 and the 2017 Census.

Jaime Ruiz Tagle

Finally, from the government, the Minister of Labor and Social Security, Nicolás Monckeberg, concluded that the biggest challenge is to improve the knowledge of labor rights on the part of immigrants and generate more job opportunities. "It is a tremendous short-sightedness to see migrant workers as a threat, it has no meaning or technical foundation. What is a threat is having migrants in Chile working precariously because they and their families have a hard time and the country is not moving forward, "the minister said. In addition, he announced the creation of a working table, coordinated by the Jesuit Migrant Service and that also integrates immigrants and groups that have interest, to raise the most important needs in this matter. 

Nicolás Monckeberg

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