Since the turn of the century, there has been a boom in immigration into Switzerland. At the same time, there has been a steep rise in the number of skilled immigrants entering the country, according to an article published as part of the Social Change in Switzerland series.
The study shows that 30,000 new immigrants with tertiary qualifications entered the country in 1991. By the year 2000, that figure was 40,000 and by 2007 it was 60,000.
Over half of all immigrants in Switzerland are now highly qualified, the study notes.
Figures from the Migration-Mobility Survey carried out by the University of Neuchâtel show the percentage varies depending on place of origin.
A total of 97 percent of Indians arriving in Switzerland had tertiary qualifications from 2006 to 2016, while this figure was 94 percent for people from the US and 91 percent for Brits.
At the other end of the scale, 24 percent of people arriving from Portugal were highly qualified, and this figure was 44 percent for West Africans.
The study’s authors noted, however, that these figures could be skewed as people taking part in the Migration-Mobility Survey were more likely to have tertiary qualifications.
The overall percentage of immigrants with tertiary qualifications in the survey was equal for men and women at 62 percent.
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The rise in the number of highly-qualified immigrants in Switzerland is a result of demand in the Swiss workplace, the study authors say. They note that the latest data shows that over half of the highly-qualified European immigrants already had a job contract before they moved to Switzerland.
However, the study also notes that this group of foreign workers played a secondary role to Swiss workers from 2010 to 2013, making up less than 30 percent of all highly-qualified employees in Switzerland as a new generation of younger Swiss workers with higher qualifications than their parents and grandparents entered the workforce.