FES | Federación Española de Sociología

XII Congreso de la FES

"Nobody gives employment to Gypsies!": (dis)integration of Gypsies in the formal labor market

GT 7 Sociología del Trabajo

Isabel Pereira (IEFP, IP – Centro de Emprego e Formação Profissional de Entre Douro e Vouga – Serviço de Emprego de São João da Madeira)
Olga Magano (CIES-ISCTE-IUL)


Sesión de comunicaciones orales Franja 1 : TRABAJO Y COHESION SOCIAL
Responsable(s): Miguel Ángel García Calavia (Universidad de Valencia)
Tipo de sesión: Sesión de comunicaciones orales
Día: jueves, 30 de junio de 2016
Hora: 09:30 a 11:30
Lugar: S05

Gypsies are accused of not working and not accepting job and training offers made by formal employment entities. To understand the intricacies of this situation we studied the relationship between the Roma people, employment and employers in Portugal. Studies were conducted to see whether Gypsies registered at the Centro de Emprego e Formação Profissional de Entre Douro e Vouga are called (or not) to integrate the formal labour market so they can stop being beneficiaries of the state.

The “status” of being unemployed has only recently been attributed to Gypsies and is the result of the formal relation with the public entities responsible for the management of social and employment policies. This “status” is experienced by those Gypsies with a certain resignation in a society that apparently cannot offer them feasible proposals which are possible to accomplish. In contemporary societies, professional qualifications and the level of education are essential to define your social status. What is the value of those who cannot enter the labour market, such as the Gypsies?

In an attempt to understand this phenomenon, an exploratory study of a qualitative nature was carried out, using semi-directive in-depth interviews made to different subjects: Gypsies enrolled in the employment centre, in three municipalities in their area; technicians of the Employment Centre and representatives of employers.

The results indicate that Gypsies cannot see themselves performing the tasks required in the few jobs and training opportunities they are offered. In terms of training, the offers they have almost never mean an actual increase of their qualification and as far as job offers are concerned they are practically non-existent. It is surprising not only the lack of knowledge that technicians and representatives of employers have about the Gypsy culture, but also the scarce number of offers that are suitable for them. The “ciganofobia” towards Gypsies is common in the ‘regular’ labour market, as well as in official institutions of regulation and employment management and vocational training. Accountability for their precarious socio-professional situation often falls on Gypsies and not on the formalities of the official employment agencies and employers but our main conclusion is that nobody gives employment to Gypsies!

Palabras clave: Gypsies, Social Integration, Inequalities, Employment policies, Vocational Training