Blogs

Building Resilient Migration Systems

This piece was originally produced for the Perry World House Global Shifts Colloquium and made possible (in part) by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York to Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author(s).

2021 Global Shifts Colloquium Thought Pieces

Migrant workers contribute critically to the resilience of countries and sectors during times of crises. A key factor determining the resilience of systems is their flexibility, implying that in times of crisis, labor mobility becomes especially relevant. In all times, but particularly in times of uncertainty and crisis, flexibility and the ability of workers to safely move where they are needed is critical to the adjustment of the economy. Evidence from the European Union (EU) during the Great Recession suggests that migrant workers responded to changing labor shortages across EU states, occupations, and sectors more fluidly than native-born workers and this flexibility allowed them to contribute to stabilizing labor markets during and after the crisis.

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Canada needs to improve its immigration channels for essential migrant workers

Originally published on Policy Options August 19, 2021 here.

Special note: This post was originally written for a Canadian audience, therefore the language within this article reflects the labor mobility challenges faced by their country.

AUTHORS: Ratna Omidvar and Zuzana Cepla

Labour shortages and aging demographics mean we’re relying on migrants to fill critical jobs. We need a streamlined program to meet these demands.

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There’s No Such Thing as a “Low”-Skill Worker

AUTHORS: ZUZANA CEPLA and HELEN DEMPSTER

This post was published also at the Center for Global Development (CGD) website here.

High-income countries depend on immigration to help foster strong societies and economies. Yet when deciding who is allowed to enter, most use a simple dichotomy based on educational attainment: “high” and “low” skilled.

In this blog, based on a new policy brief by Labor Mobility Partnerships (LaMP) and discussions at a recent LaMP-CGD co-hosted event, we outline why this dichotomy is wrong, and how high-income countries can build mutually beneficial migration pathways at all skill levels.

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Introducing a New Approach to Labor Mobility

AUTHOR: REBEKAH SMITH

This post was first published at the Center for Global Development.

OECD countries face a growing elderly population and a shrinking working-age population, while low-income countries have working-age populations that are growing faster than jobs can absorb them. Labor mobility offers a solution, connecting potential migrants (who need jobs) to potential employers (who need workers). The Connecting International Labor Markets working group convened around the question of how to make this happen, resulting in a proposal for a new organization: Labor Mobility Partnerships (LaMP).

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Migrant Health Workers Are on the COVID-19 Frontline. We Need More of Them.

AUTHORS: HELEN DEMPSTER AND REBEKAH SMITH

This post was first published at the Center for Global Development

Worldwide, the health worker profession relies on migrants. But policy often restricts their movement. The COVID-19 outbreak has shown that, under crisis, many of these barriers are more malleable than policymakers make them out to be.

Continue reading “Migrant Health Workers Are on the COVID-19 Frontline. We Need More of Them.”

Introducing an Outcomes-Based Migrant Welfare Fund

AUTHORS: REBEKAH SMITH AND RICHARD JOHNSON

Current migration systems encourage migrants to take on debt and service providers to behave poorly, undermining the development impact of labor mobility. We propose a Migrant Welfare Fund that partners with impact investors to pay service providers for outcomes in connecting migrants to jobs, creating a rights-respecting and self-financing system.

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