In the last decade, thousands of forcibly-displaced people have sought refuge in the Netherlands. Many of them are highly educated, and their integration into the host society’s labour market could improve their own quality of life as well as making a significant contribution to the country’s economy. However, refugees face many challenges in their search for employment. This is the first exploratory study of the role that professional intercultural communicative competence (PICC) plays in highly-educated refugees’ integration in the Dutch labour market. Interviews and focus groups were used to collect data from refugees who had already successfully integrated into the Dutch workforce as well as from newcomers who were still in the process of achieving this. Content analysis was performed on the data, using rounds of deductive and inductive coding and analysis. The findings indicate that the development of PICC (including resilience) plays an important role in helping refugees overcome the challenges they face. The article discusses the implications of the findings-should they generalise-in terms of PICC training offered to refugees themselves (as part of their language courses) and to professionals who work with them, with the aim of facilitating and promoting the refugees’ labour market integration.

DOI: 10.1515/eujal-2021-0001
ISSN: 2192-9521