Benign Neglect? Policies to Support Upward Mobility for Immigrants in the United Kingdom

Marangozov R |   | Migration Policy Institute | Oct 2014

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This report assesses how effectively integration policies in the United Kingdom are helping migrants advance into middle-skilled jobs from low-skilled work or unemployment, focusing in particular on employment services, ESOL, and vocational training.

The author discusses the ways that other policies and contextual factors often undermine migrants’ entry into the labour market and progression out of low-skilled jobs, including cuts to welfare programmes, difficulty navigating a complex and ever-changing workforce development system, and low demand for training in some sectors, particularly those with high turnover.

The report is part of a research project funded by the European Union and conducted in collaboration with the International Labour Office. The case studies in the first phase of the project consider the influence of individual characteristics and broader economic conditions on the employment prospects of foreign-born workers.

The reports in the second phase evaluate the effectiveness of integration and workforce development policies in helping foreign-born workers overcome these barriers and move up into middle-skilled positions that pay a family-sustaining wage. The six case study countries were the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.