The integration of refugees is a serious social policy problem in many advanced countries, and current trends suggest that this issue is unlikely to disappear soon. At the same time, these countries are also experiencing skill shortages in expanding sectors. These twin pressures create an opportunity to use education as a tool to pursue refugee integration. We investigate how refugees are trained in a country, Switzerland, where employers play an important role in vocational training. We discuss the national strategy for refugee integration and then focus on the implementation in one French speaking Canton (Vaud) on the basis of a qualitative vignette survey among case workers in charge of supporting refugee integration. At implementation, we do not find much evidence of a generalised upskilling strategy being applied in Switzerland. On the contrary, the main emphasis is on quick access to employment, supported by vocational training mostly in the low-skill segment. We conclude that the lack of an upskilling strategy is due to lack of coordination among policy areas and limited interest by employers. © 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

DOI: 10.1111/spol.12868
ISSN: 01445596