“I wouldn’t be talking about displacement.”

“I wouldn’t be talking about displacement.”

Keller-Sutter visits the Ukrainian woman at work

Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter wants people with S protection status to find work in Switzerland. To find out about the situation, she traveled to Münsingen BE to Gasthof Ochsen on Wednesday. A Ukrainian, Ohla Shymkro, has been working in the kitchen there since the beginning of May.


More than 51,000 Ukrainians have already been granted S protection status in Switzerland. Federal Counsel Keller-Sutter reports on the integration of refugees into the labor market – they live here.

Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter wants people with S protection status to find work in Switzerland. To find out about the situation, she traveled to Münsingen BE to Gasthof Ochsen on Wednesday.

A Ukrainian has been working in the kitchen since the beginning of May. According to a Keller-Sutter statement, Ochsen was one of the first companies in Switzerland to hire a person from Schutstatus S.

The program of Keller-Sutter’s visit to Münsingen included an exchange with a Ukrainian chef, but also with a hostess. Keller-Sutter wanted to know what experiences they both have in their daily work.

According to a tweet of the Secretariat of State for Migration (SEM) on Tuesday, more than 54,000 Ukrainian refugees have been registered in Switzerland so far, of which over 51,000 have been granted protection status by S.

Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter (left) and Ukrainian Olha Shymko (right), who is one of the first people with protection status S, greet each other in the kitchen of Gasthof Ochsen, right in front of the press point about the current challenges and their plans to promote integration people with S protection status in the labor market, on Wednesday 1 June 2022 in Münsingen.  (KEYSTONE / Anthony Anex)

Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter and Ukrainian Olha Shymko (right), one of the first to receive protection status S, greet each other in the kitchen of the Ochsen inn.

Image: Keystone

More than 1,000 people from Ukraine work

According to the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), more than 1,000 of them have obtained work permits from the cantons. However, the EJPD assumes that the number of people working in the S protection status is higher.

Entry in federal databases takes place only after the issuance of an identity card. However, a work permit may be issued after obtaining the protection status S. There may be several weeks between them.

Keller-Sutter meets the social partners and the cantons

With 203 permits, the hospitality industry has the largest share, followed by planning, consulting and IT (146), education (102) and agriculture (97). The Canton of Zurich issued the most work permits out of 188, followed by Aargau (98), Bern (95) and Thurgau (92).

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In order to further promote the integration of people with S protection status in the labor market, Keller-Sutter invited the social partners and cantons to another meeting on August 23, 2022. The aim is to identify current challenges and develop specific strategies.

  • 10:53 a.m.

    The media conference is over

    Thank you for your interest.

  • 10:52 a.m.

    Is GastroBern’s offer an isolated case?

    Burkhalter says he hopes other federations will follow suit. He had already received inquiries from Zurich and Graubünden seeking information and documentation from him.

  • 10:51 a.m.

    Does bureaucracy work against effective integration?

    The cantons’ commitment to respect the distribution key is respected, says Keller-Sutter. Cantons intervened because cities, for example, would accept many more refugees. The key is now respected. But it also means that refugees are no longer free to decide which canton to stay in.

  • 10:49 a.m.

    How many people from Ukraine could work in the future?

    “It’s hard to quantify here,” says Keller-Sutter. However, half of the people in Ukraine are of working age. He believes it is important that they can do meaningful work. You always hear that people are efficient and want to work. Of course, it’s always important to work, not apply for social assistance, says Keller-Sutter.

  • 10:45

    How high is the risk of wage dumping in other sectors?

    It is up to the labor market authorities to monitor wages and working conditions, says Keller-Sutter. It wouldn’t talk about displacement, it’s more about some profiles not matching each other.

    There are many well-trained Ukrainians who would have to move to other fields of work if they did not speak German. She herself has the feeling that people are watching very closely, says Keller-Sutter.

  • 10:38 a.m.

    A question and answer session begins

    How to solve language and child care problems? This is what the journalist wants to know.

    Language plays an important role, says Keller-Sutter. The employers themselves would take the initiative. As is well known, the federal government also provides the cantons 3,000 CHF per person for language courses.

    However, childcare remains a problem. However, the topic is being developed on an ongoing basis. Employers would sometimes avoid this effort if they did not know how long people would stay in Switzerland. But here, too, you are in touch and see how you can provide support.

  • 10:36 a.m.

    100 restaurants report vacancies

    About 100 restaurants have already reported more than 130 vacancies, says Burkhalter. There are now countless job interviews and taster days. In addition, many people signed up for the so-called accelerated courses and integration courses.

    Burkhalter is pleased with the positive feedback from various catering establishments. “The facts are very encouraging for us,” says Burkhalter. It also turned out that there was no waiting for a national solution.

  • 10:35 a.m.

    No cheap labor

    According to Burkhalter, there would always be a legal basis for a collective employment contract. GastroBern would control the employment contracts. It’s not about hiring cheap labor, he says.

  • 10:34 a.m.

    Opportunity for the hospitality industry

    Tobias Burkhalter, CEO of GastroBern, takes over. As a large industry association with over 2,000 members, their aim is to enable refugees to enter the catering industry in an uncomplicated manner.

    The industry is suffering from an enormous shortage of skilled workers, says Burkhalter. The necessary training is important, but the preparation tasks are also important. It is therefore a great opportunity for gastronomy on the one hand and for refugees on the other: “If we help Ukrainians * find a job, we are also helping our members,” says Burkhalter.

  • 10.30 a.m.

    Refugees help in the absence of catering staff

    As an employer, he accepts social responsibility for his employees, says Linder. They were not accepting refugees at the expense of their current workers and it must have made economic sense. You can’t conjure a job. But if you can hire a person from Ukraine, it is important and makes sense.

    After two years of a pandemic, gastronomy had to be rethought, says Lindner-Löffel. For example, you can imagine that a chef with knowledge of German will work in the kitchen and a person from Ukraine will work in the kitchen. She is grateful for the support from Ukraine. You have to counteract the shortage of staff.

  • 10:27 a.m.

    Monika Linder-Löffel takes over

    Monika Linder, Managing Director of Gasthof Ochsen in Münsingen is taking over the takeover. He talks about his experiences with the help of Ukrainian cuisine.

    She learned from friends that a Ukrainian is looking for a job in the kitchen. However, at that time it had not yet received the protection status of S.

    She then received all the necessary documents and paperwork from the host families, says Linder.

  • 10:25 a.m.

    Google Translate solves communication problems

    Karin Keller-Sutter now discusses language problems and how they are dealt with pragmatically. In fact, Google Translate is a solution to language barriers in a restaurant kitchen. A translator is not needed.

  • 10:22 a.m.

    200 people work in the hotel industry

    According to Keller-Sutter, about 200 people from Ukraine work in the hotel industry. The Canton of Bern also provides the course. This is helpful for businesses.

    Gasthof Ochsen and Gastro Bern on their own initiative supported people from Ukraine and made it possible to start work – praises Keller-Sutter.

    Parmelin federal councilor and you can still find fallow land this month that has made a special contribution to the integration of refugees into the labor market, says Keller-Sutter.

  • 10:21 a.m.

    Both sides benefit

    If people cannot work, they cannot get an education. It was important for the Federal Council to grant protection seekers non-bureaucratic access to the labor market, says Keller-Sutter.

    The Ukrainian chef in the kitchen is also pleased with the support of Ukraine. Working at Ochsen Inn also distracts Shymko from the war in Ukraine, which is important, says Keller-Sutter.

  • 10:18 a.m.

    2000 people with work in Switzerland

    About 1,000 people from Ukraine have already found work in Switzerland, says Keller-Sutter. However, the numbers will be left behind. Cantons take some time to report the numbers. Keller-Sutter assumes that about 2,000 people from Ukraine already have jobs.

  • 10:16 a.m.

    The Ukrainian woman works in the kitchen of a restaurant

    Karin Keller-Sutter tells that a Ukrainian, Olha Szymko, who fled her homeland, works at the Ochsen inn. According to Keller-Sutter, Shymko told her about her homeland in the kitchen.

  • 10.15

    A media conference begins

    Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter opens a media conference.

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Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, more than 54,000 people in Switzerland have applied for S protection status. Over 51,000 have already received it.

Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter invites you today at 10.15 am to the information desk on the protection status of S in Münsingen BE. At Gasthof Ochsen, he speaks about the current challenges of the war in Ukraine and about his plans to promote integration in the labor market.

A Ukrainian is working in the inn’s kitchen. The woman is one of the first people with protection status to start working in Switzerland.

Let the following experts know

  • Karin Keller Sutterhead of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP)
  • Tobias BurkhalterPresident of GastroBern
  • Monika Lindermanaging director of Gasthof Ochsen, Münsingen

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