At the moment, refugees make up a significant portion of the EU’s population. The BBC shared a graph which indicates the number of refugee and migrant arrivals from 2014 to 2017 in Spain, Greece and Italy. Collectively, they make up more than a million individuals at the very least, and needless to say, it only shows a part of the whole picture.

Source: UN High Negotiations Committee via BBC

This means that there is a large pool of talent waiting to be tapped, which can help meet the employment demands of the manufacturing industry in the EU. The sector remains in overdrive, as many of the world’s leading manufacturing companies continue to ramp up production, most notably in niches such as the automotive, metals and aerospace industries. The FXCM Economic Calendar shows that some of Europe’s high-economy countries have just released their Industrial Output report. These include France, Finland, as well as the three aforementioned nations, which welcomed a large number of asylum seekers in recent years. The consensus, based on previous data, is very positive, which is a good sign of growth.

As more jobs are created in the manufacturing sector, employers need to broaden their horizon when it comes to recruitment. Here are some of the reasons why refugees could be great candidates.

A lot of refugees are skilled and educated

Sensationalism in the media created a refugee stereotype, one which shows them as uneducated people who can only depend on humanitarian aid to survive. But this is a huge misconception. In fact, many refugees are highly skilled and had good jobs before they were forced to leave their home country.

Foremost humanitarian experts and University of Oxford professors Paul Collier and Alexander Betts discussed Syrians as an example, as many of them became refugees after fleeing for safety when the Syrian Civil War broke out. The distinguished scholars explain that they are a “potential source of labour” for manufacturing because a lot of them are educated and possess technical proficiency. These individuals are capable of operating machinery used in assembly lines and handling other complex processes within the industry.

They are resilient and dedicated

The conflict they have experienced has given them a renewed perspective as far as life’s challenges are concerned. And because a lot of them are rebuilding their lives essentially from scratch, they tend to consider having the chance to work as a great blessing and put all their efforts into being productive. This has already been realised by the manufacturing and retail giant IKEA, which now provides various job opportunities and internships for refugees through a partnership with the Jordan River Foundation. The people in the program contribute in producing home furniture for the world-renowned Scandinavian company.

With the right skill set for manufacturing jobs and a relentless drive to perform, refugees are worth considering when filling vacant positions in the sector. Social Entrepreneurship specialist Thane Kreiner even deems refugees as the ‘future global workforce.’ He points out that countries like the Netherlands and Austria are looking into using the demographic to further reduce unemployment rates. Some asylum seekers in these countries are even taught how to manufacture materials for a sustainable future like solar panels. Planet-BPM previously mentioned that this so-called ‘green economy‘ is set to create an employment void, and trained refugees could help in closing the gap. Here’s to hoping that other nations adopt a similar forward-thinking initiative.