Only around 2% of the working-age Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland have found work, according to recent statistics published by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
The first challenge many of the refugees face is language. Recognition of qualifications is another. In addition, many are finding they cannot find positions at the same level as their skills and experience.
By mid-May 2022, only 413 people aged between 18 and 64 on the special S visas issued to Ukrainian refugees had found work out of a total of 25,483, representing 1.62%. SEM points out that there is an administrative lag time, which means the number who have found work is likely to be higher in reality.
Ukrainian job hunters are motivated. They appear to be highly motivated to find work and not be supported by the state, to be self sufficient and save some money to return home to rebuild Ukraine, Anne Beney Confortola, a professional working in Valais to help integrate people into the workforce, told RTS.
Finding work in Switzerland is time consuming. Even those already in Switzerland typically search for many months before finding work. A survey done by ACF Switzerland in 2021 showed that it took an average of 7.04 months for someone to find a new job in Switzerland.