Immigrant women, e-skills, and employability in Europe: The case of Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, and Spain
Ruíz, Jaime A.
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There is much research on the role of e-skills in advancing employability among disadvantaged groups, but little is known about the way in which these skills can promote the economic integration of immigrant women in the European Union, or how improving digital competencies and access to computers and the internet can foster social inclusion. This study contributes to filling this gap, investigating the role of e-skills in advancing the employability of immigrant women in four countries: Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain. Romania is included for comparison, as a source of migrants. The conceptual framework builds on Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach, as well as on the European Union's Framework on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. Based on a survey of 375 immigrant and 155 native-born women, and supplemented by interviews with staff at non-government organizations, this research examines three interrelated paths that, we argue, lead to improved employability: education and lifelong earning, social inclusion, and cultural inclusion. Findings suggest that strengthening e-skills among immigrant women is an important factor in advancing along these three paths, potentially improving women’s position in the labor market. In addition, NGOs play an pivotal role in fostering social, economic, and cultural integration and in promoting many of the competencies identified by the European Union as critical to succeed in today’s labor market.
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