Thursday, November 24, 2005

Own prejudices block immigrants from getting jobs

An accusation you often meet from moslem circles is, that evil racists are keeping them from getting jobs. This especially came up in a recent row over unemployment benefits, that need a bit of explanation. People who receive those here are divided into 5 "match groups" according to how equipped they are to have and hold a job, with "match group 5" being the worst group and 1 the best. The Danish government recently suggested, that people in match group 4 had to show up 300 hours of work over a 4-year period to continue receiving unemployment benefits.

The usual suspects screamed bloody murder, and immediately seized upon several thousand immigrant couples as the prime victims to focus on to defeat the measure. Both members in the couples are in Match Group 4, and would of course be doomed, since racist employers didnt want to give them jobs, and the government wanted to cut off benefits for them because of that.

The two leftist strongholds of Denmark´s Radio and the newspaper Politiken recently got together to test those accusations with reality. The results are startling (source: BT, my translation):

The two media have sent five young 2nd-generation immigrants on a special mission on the Danish labor market. The youngsters were to get other immigrant youths jobs. They have sought out reality to remove hindrances - and their results thus far are quite remarkable.

Early yesterday, two of the job-agents declared unanimously, that the worst, most problematic hindrance to get immigrants to work are the prejudices of the immigrants themselves. Most of them think, its much harder to get a job than it is in reality. The two job agents brought in lots of jobs - the problem is actually making the unemployed youths seek them. The 29-year-old scarf-wearing Anissa Aharaz is deeply surprised herself. She thought, that the Danish companies would be more cautious at employing women, that insisted on wearing a scarf, or in other ways set herself apart through name, skin color or clothes. But she has discovered, that by far the most companies are enormously tolerant. The things that hinder, are the prejudices of the immigrants.

The 20-year-old Rola El-Dirawi, who has a Palestinian background, has a special experience with the group of her co-nationals and fellow women in Århus. Here, 80 percent of the women are outside the labor market. Rola El-Dirawi has found lots of jobs. But she hasnt been able to make even one of her co-nationals take an offer. They dont want to. Either because they personally prefer to stay at home - or because their husbands forbid them to take a job.

The young job agents agree, that the most important thing that can be done to change this unhappy situation, is to threaten to take away unemployment benefits from the Palestinian families. The government could hardly get any stronger backing for its plan.



Post a Comment

<< Home